a. Destin, Florida
b. Brooklyn, New York
c. Sault St. Marie, Michigan
d. Durham, North Carolina
I spent the beginning of 2011 imagining what I wanted my life to look like - it took form in a colorful vinn diagram with 3 equal parts: Adventure & Love, Design & Creativity, Food & Health.
Today I'm going to recap the adventures and and places we went in 2011. When I travel, especially with the people I hold closest to my heart, I feel connected and in love with the whole world. Travel has become important to me and something I need to do more of.
Where we went:
• Destin, Florida - A family vacation that included lots of time in the ocean and in the pool. I managed to wear zero sunscreen and never get burnt.
• Brooklyn, New York - Jeremy and I went to Brooklyn for some quality time with my brother. But I also got to hang out with my friends Anna and Sana. Jeremy and I found the cure for hiccups on a subway platform and developed a love for a good bloody mary.
• Sault St. Marie, Michigan - This is our second time to meet Liz and her family out at their cabin on Lake Superior in the upper peninsula of Michigan. This place is magical - the family, the lake, the cabin, the sauna, the lazy mornings.
• Durham, North Carolina - Jeremy surprised me with a visit to Durham, North Carolina to visit Liz (we can never get enough Liz) and her boyfriend Micah. It's not a proper Liz Vacation unless there is lots of food and wine followed up by slow mornings with coffee and quiet conversation.
• Austin, Texas - I wound up in Austin half a dozen times this year. Once while on a branding adventure with Tara and a few more times to meet with Mel and Dave about the cookbook (or you know... just to have dinner). I also got to meet up with my buddies Bryan and Kendi a few times which is always a pleasure.
This year I learned that the kinds of vacations that nourish my soul are the ones that not only connect me with other people but the ones that provide me with meaningful interaction with nature. I missed the himalayas and our 2010 trek to Everest Base Camp (something fierce) all year long - but spending time in water and sand was nice.
I'm looking forward to the adventure and love that 2012 will bring.
a. Destin, Florida
Jeremy is really great at having a place for everything and everything in its place.
Me? I'm really great at taking off my shoes in the most inconvenient place in the house - like the hallway or middle of the living room floor - and just leaving them there.
But yesterday my lack of consideration (and my penchant for really nice boots) made art. It's called Leather / Fur / Wood: a study in black, brown and white.
Here is a sneak peek at our cozy little new room. We decided to use the wrought-iron bed from the guest bedroom as our bed and that rad throw was a Christmas gift from my mom and dad. (My mom found it at Blue Seven - I was so proud of her for buying all of my wonderful gifts locally this year.) The cats most definitely approve. I'll share more of this space once it's more complete.
Jeremy pointed out, after reading my switcheroo post, that our former master bedroom isn't really all-caps HUGE huge. It's probably 12' x 20' and our new room is about 12' x 10'. When comparing it to a new build master suite, no - it's not huge. But when you look at it next to someone living in a studio the size of our bedroom - yeah, it's huge. HUGE, even. Our entire house is about 1,500 sq. ft. - it has 3 bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, a dining room and a living room. This feels plenty big to me but every year Dwell comes out with a "small homes" issue and what qualifies as small is 1,500 sq. ft. or smaller. But I digress...
Early last year Jeremy and I decided to try out P90X. For those of you who aren't familiar, P90X is a grueling home workout system that builds strength through a technique called muscle confusion. Jeremy and I had a little bit of success but we knew we could do better. We decided that next time we would follow the diet guidelines a little closer in order to achieve the results we were wanting to see.
This year I got P90X2 for Christmas (more on that later)*. I was really excited to see that the food part of the program accommodates vegans and vegetarians - but upon further inspection I was disappointed to see these sources were primarily processed options like protein shakes, seitan, tofu and tempeh. You have to eat a lot of protein (like 225g a day a lot) during phase 1 of the P90X2 - so to be a vegetarian it would mean lots of processed food. In order to achieve the very specific results I'm looking for I'm faced with a dilemma: lots of processed food vs. fish. I know there are lots of vegans out there who can make it work but for now fish won. Over my 15 years of being a vegetarian I've always had fish on occasion - when I was a kid my dad would literally go out to our backyard, on a lake, and catch our dinner. So it's a food that is a part of my culture and history. All of that to say - I'm fairly comfortable eating it.
And I've gotta tell you - this salmon I had for dinner last night is mighty tasty. I used Mel's salmon recipe from Well Fed and her magic green beans recipe found here.
*Here are some past posts about my workouts - I may do an updated one for the new year if you all are interested:
• Anatomy of an Outfit: Sweating it Out
• Working on my fitness
We're about to make some big changes around the J&K household. We've been here for well over 3 years and are looking forward to switching things up. My sister and I have been working out of my home together for a few months now - she's been working in the breakfast nook while I work out of my office - but we'd like to be a little closer to each other. We're also looking to hire a part-time designer or paid intern soon (if you live in Oklahoma and are interested let me know!) so we need more space. So with Jeremy's suggesting we are moving the office into our HUGE master bedroom and our bedroom into the smaller office. Then we're converting our guest bedroom into a studio for photo shoots and making music (something Jeremy and I are going to dive into come the new year).
• Switch office / master bedroom (furniture / closets / window treatments)
• Store guest bed in garage
• Paint chalkboard wall in the new studio space
• Paint living room black (I'm trying not to chicken out on this one)
• Hang door to basement
Wish me luck!
When I was little my dad was a fishing guide. That means people would pay him money to take them fishing because he knew where the good catches were. (In fact, he can go back to lakes he fished decades ago and remember the best places to find fish.) Maybe that's where I got my live what you love work and life philosophy.
My dad recently got this tiny 2-person boat that he calls The Mean Machine for the new lake house. Watching him drive it around on the little lake him and my mom now live on makes me laugh - every single time. When he's in a boat (no matter how small) on a lake (even if it's more like a pond) he's completely in his element - he's content to fish by himself but I think he's happiest when he's sharing the experience with someone else.
It makes me wonder - do I have a Mean Machine? Where am I most in my element? I think my happy place might be on the other side of the world or at least 12,000 ft. above sea level. What about you? Where is your happy place?
Jeremy and I popped into Shop Good the other day to tackle our Christmas shopping and I stumbled upon a line of Portland General Store products. I opened little sample bottles of various colognes and fell in love with Whiskey. I love the idea of having a signature scent and at the same time I love the way men smell - I'm always attracted to masculine, woodsy colognes.
Here's the Whiskey description:
Bring out that inner Brando with this elegant and charismatic fragrance, updated from a classic 1920s recipe. Power and masculinity are obvious in the deep wood and amber, and an unexpected hint of spice and floral complexity reveals itself over the hours.
Sounds nice, right? The downside - I have to promise Jeremy I haven't been macking on any rustic old men when he goes in for a kiss and smells my new cologne. Instead I tell him I've only been bringing out my inner Brando and making out with him in my mind. All. Day. Long.
The best part of designing a cookbook was having access to all the amazing recipes. Like these savory
Meat and Spinach Muffins - easily made vegetarian with mushrooms instead of sausage. My photos just don't do them justice (I blame the sun setting at 5:00PM and lack of natural light) but I promise - they're super tasty. Melissa, the author of Well Fed, has not only encouraged me to experiment with veggie-ing up her recipes she's also given me permission to share the recipe with you. The recipe below is modified from Melissa's original.
Mushroom and Spinach Muffins
Prep: 15 min
Cool: 15 min
Bake: 40 min
2 bags of fresh spinach, washed, dried and chopped (you can use 3 16oz bags of frozen chopped spinach too)
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large package of mushroom, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 tablespoons raisins
3 large eggs (note: I used 4 smallish eggs - but next time I'll try with just 3)
* as a commitment to eat as local as possible I highlight locally sourced ingredients in green
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
This is crucial step! (If using frozen spinach): Squeeze the excess water from the defrosted spinach. Here’s my trick for removing excess water: Place all the spinach in a colander or wire sieve and press out the water with the bottom of a bowl that fits inside the colander, then squeeze individual handfuls of spinach to wring out the remaining water. You should have about 4 cups of spinach when you’re finished with the squeezing process.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes. Add coconut oil and allow it to melt. Toss the onion in the pan and sauté, stirring with a wooden spoon, until it’s crisp-tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the chopped mushrooms into the pan. Cook until they release their liquid - you may need to drain the liquid in a strainer and return mushrooms back to the pan. Add the garlic, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, curry powder and raisins and cook until the mushrooms are browned. Stir in the spinach until it’s combined. Set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.
Scramble the eggs in a small bowl with a fork, and when the mushroom/spinach mixture is cool, add them to the mix; blend well. The easiest way to combine everything is to mix with your hands. Dig in!
Place muffin papers in a 12-count muffin pan; they prevent sticking. Pack the batter into a 1/2-cup measurer, then transfer it to the muffin pan, using your hands to pack the spinach tightly into the muffin paper. It should be slightly mounded on top – the muffins puff a bit when they bake, then slightly deflate when cool. Remove the muffins from the pan and store covered, in the refrigerator.
My muffins came out more like miniature quiche but they were still super tasty. And the curry + raisin combination is just one example of "You Know How You Could Do That?" variations that Melissa offers with almost all of her recipes.
Mel is generously offering a Jeremy & Kathleen reader a signed (by both Melissa and myself) copy of Well Fed plus a homemade spice blend by the author herself!
Enter to win by liking Melissa on Facebook or following her on Twitter and commenting below with your email address (so I can get a hold of you if you win). A winner will be picked by random on this Friday, December 23rd at 12PM CST - you have until then to enter.
Before you're all "Say what!?" and unsubscribe from my blog hear me out. I've been blessed with really great skin. I know this and fully appreciate it. Don't worry - I've been cursed with a few things to make up for it. Like huge bags (not just dark circles but bags that could double as a small purse) under my eyes until I've been awake for no less than 4 hours. And I've inherited varicose veins (the huge bulging kind) that have been protruding from my calves since I was 12. I could think of a few more things to hate myself about but this post isn't about that.
This post is about embracing and actually liking my beauty flaws and faux pas.
Like the occasional pimple. I regard these painful blemishes as beauty marks - a monthly gift to be embraced and worn with pride - not covered up or Photoshopped away. I kind of like it. And have you ever shown up to work or a dinner party and found that you and your best friend have the exact same pimple in the exact same place? I love it when that happens - it's our hormones' way of saying "matchy-matchy, same-same!"
Do you have any beauty confessions - flaws that society (or infomercials) have deemed unacceptable that you like? (Curly hair might be one of them.)
Okay, I know I said I was done designing wedding invitations. And I am - but I still have a couple more custom suites to share with you guys. Carly, a super sweet not crazy bride, and long time blog reader asked me to design her wedding invitations when she got engaged to her man, Travis. She wanted something that was quirky and Anthropologie-ish with a little bit of modern elegance. Here's what I came up with:
I love that each piece isn't super matchy-matchy but still cohesive with gold and dove gray running through each design - it reminded me of an old patchwork quilt when I was done with it. These invitations were printed digitally on a silky cream cover weight stock. Carly and Travis used kraft paper envelopes with a custom-made return address banner stamp I designed to match.
I've probably driven past this feed mill on I-35 while making the trip to Texas and back probably a hundred times. And every time I look at it in awe - it looks like something that, with the right lighting and soundtrack, could be part of a Tim Burton movie. It looks like the kind of place where Edward Scissorhands would go to live out his old age. I think about all the bits and pieces of this complex and industrial sculpture. I think about what it would be like to climb around on top of it - to feel the rusty metal in my palms as I swing from one pipe to the next. In my mind I've explored every nook and cranny of this feed mill.
I recently watched a documentary streaming on Netflix called Urban Explorers: Into The Darkness. It wasn't super awesome but it captured my attention - because I can relate to the kind of child-like curiosity the subjects of the film satiate by exploring old forgotten tunnels and abandoned buildings. It reminded me that just because I'm an adult doesn't mean I can't go exploring from time-to-time.
Dino-Chow is what Mel calls it. A way of eating that emphasizes eating real food - animals and plants. The first time Mel and I hung out she described it as not just eating stuff that isn't bad for you but eating food that will actually make you healthier.
Mel hired me to design a "little" Paleo cookbook for her. It was supposed to be a fun side project for all of us but when I finished the initial designs we all knew it was going to be much bigger than a project on the side. Over the past 6 months Mel has been writing, cooking, editing and styling with her talented husband Dave who just picked up a camera and was instantly amazing at taking photos. Food photos, no less (which is notoriously hard to do). Meanwhile, it was my job to bring it all to life with what Mel endearingly calls "fairy dust".
Together, this is what we made:
I learned so much about food and flavor while working on this book. And while I don't eat meat, I found a lot of these recipes can be made vegetarian (and still Paleo) by substituting with mushrooms or (non-Paleo) tofu. And the veggie section is nothing to sneeze at. And the best part is that Jeremy and I made some really fantastic friends in the process.
You can buy Well Fed: Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat and download a free 30-page sample of the book here.
Jeremy and I took another little quick trip down to Austin, Texas this weekend to celebrate an approved proof and production of Well Fed - a Paleo cookbook I designed - with my clients & friends Mel and Dave.
After a busy week I was looking forward to 6 hours (each way) in the car with Jeremy. Our ride was peppered with a little conversation and most excitingly, we saw a wolf (!!!) chowing down on roadkill in the median on the highway. But otherwise it was a quiet and cloudy drive. It was the kind of road trip that leaves you fixated on abandoned trailers and old farmhouses on expansive fields - wondering about the lives people live between here and there.
This week started off hard. On Monday I was overwhelmed with uncertainty - the kind of uncertainty and fear that comes with designs that don't yet exist but have a quickly approaching deadlines. I started consoling my fits of panic by saying "The reward is going to come in just a week - with finished designs, kick-ass case studies and a few paychecks."
My sister (/business partner) quickly reminded me that the reward is right here, right now. The reward is that we have a bunch of amazing clients and that we get to work together to help them. The reward is in the journey - not the destination (a little trite, but oh so true).
All of that said, I'm glad it's the weekend.
Last night Liz was over for dinner (yay!) and we did what we do which is start talking about being a minimalist, rental properties, moving, the thrill & challenges of new spaces, and landscaping.
Jeremy and I have been in our little house for over 3 years now and I'm starting to take it for granted. I mean, I love it but I don't think about it. What I think about is moving from cute little house to little house every year as we grow our rental empire. I'm think about buying land and living in an Airstream for a few years while we build our dream home. I think about renovating an old run down, but fabulous, mansion in a shady but up-and-coming area.
Liz interrupts me before I get to my next idealistic and romanticized money-pit notion and says "Why don't you just paint your living room black?" She knows me so well. She knows that I need to change my environment or I get bored - so why not start with the (really cute!) space I've already got.
Pros, cons and worries about painting my living room black:
• The tall barrel ceiling presents a design challenge. Do I paint just up to the quarter-round (see exhibit a - about 8 ft. high - to the top of the windows on the left)?
• And what about the insides of the shelves flanking the fireplace (see exhibit b) - do I paint those too?
• If the living room is black with a cream ceiling it will match our hallway (which you can see from the living room) - see exhibit c.
• The TV (seen here) would blend right in to the surroundings.
• The wood floor and neutral furniture would really pop against black.
Here are some black rooms that inspire me:
• Victoria's black living room (see! surprisingly airy for being black)
• Anna at Door Sixteen is a fan of black & white interiors. She has a good collection of inspiring black rooms here.
What do you all think? Should I go for it?
Just a few years ago I had a jet black shag (a rockin' mullet, really) that I would straighten every. single. day. I was hiding my inner Carrie Bradshaw under that badass facade. Eventually I put down the chi and embraced my inner curly girl.
A couple summers ago I talked about my hair routine (which included not washing it for 8 days in a row). Since then things have changed a little. Here's what I do:
• Wash roots / scalp with a dime-size dollop of shampoo every 8 - 10 days
• In between washes I will rinse with water daily
• Every day I'll alternate between TIGI Curls Rock Leave In Conditioner & Kinky Curly Curling Custard
• For best results I let my hair air dry. This takes a couple hours.
• If I don't have time for air drying I will use a blow dryer with a diffuser on high heat, low air flow.
• Lately I've been parting my bangs down the middle. I straighten them with the Chi but then with a flick of my wrist at the end for that Charlie's Angel winged look.
• Then I use a 1" curling iron and touch up just a few chunks of hair for a more polished look. This makes me feel a little more professional. I use this technique for curling. (But note! I'm curling my already curly hair)
• I've been rocking the ombre / roots look. I love the blonde and Jeremy has a thing for brunettes. So the fact that this is a trend right now allows me to straddle the line between both.
• Because I work out every day my hair usually ends up in a bun.
• My hair does something new and different every day. This is the nature of being a curly girl - I just roll with it. Sometimes I will go through the entire process of washing / drying / curling only to look like the lead singer of an '80s hair band. I either choose to roll with it or put it in a bun.
Are any of my readers curly girls? I want to hear about any tips you've got or products you love.
P.S. Check out this post my sister did on embracing the curly.
I've been on Pinterest since the get-go but now I'm loving it more than ever before. I now pin solely through my Braid account - so follow me here:
More on Pinterest:
• A video I made on How To Pinterest
• Pinterest as an Idea Vault
Are you all active on Pinterest? What are your favorite types of things to pin? Comment with a link to your boards and I'll follow you!
Ever since our big tree was cut down the front of our house our curb appeal has been lacking. And after 3.5 years of living here I've determined that I'm probably never going to find motivation to landscape. It's just too complicated - there are so many variables like sun, water, perennial vs. annual, etc.
So I finally hired my friend Hallie's little brother, who owns Clean Cut Curbs, to overhaul the front of our house. I told him I wanted something mid-century modern but still complimentary to the old historical tudor style of our home. I told him I wanted plants that didn't need to be watered and could deal with ice in the winter and 100+ heat in the summer.
Here's what he came up with:
Amazing, right? On top of all of that we're also getting a new tree that will sit in the middle of our front yard (rather than right next to the house like the old one). I think this overhaul will rekindle my love for our home.
As much as I loved Thanksgiving this year, I am not terribly motivated to get in the Christmas spirit. Jeremy pulled our little tinsel trees out of the basement - they sat on our dining room table, with the branches all folded up, for days. It took all the energy I had to simply unfold and spread them out.
But it did cheer me up to see our little Christmas monster. A few years ago as we pulled the trees out of the basement this little guy was attached to the top of the silver tree. I still have no idea how he got there (I had never even seen him before I spotted him on this tree) but that's where he lives now. He comes out once a year with that gnarly smile and says "Fuck yeah, it's Christmastime, bitches!" (Pardon his foul language - as enthusiastic as he is about Christmas he is still a monster afterall.)
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)
- 2011: Adventure and Love
- Leather / Fur / Wood
- Master Bedroom Sneak Peek
- Salmon and Green Beans
- A Switcheroo and Other House To-Dos
- The Mean Machine
- Spinach and Mushroom Muffins (+ A Giveaway)
- Confession: I Like My Pimple
- Vintage Patchwork Wedding Invitations
- The Feed Mill
- Well Fed
- Roadtrip Views
- The Reward
- Should I Paint My Living Room Black?
- Curly Girl
- Landscaping. Finally.
- The Christmas Monster
- ▼ December (19)
- ► 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