Wednesday, April 23, 2014

the blog process

where i write a majority of my posts

several weeks ago, my friend jennifer from the blog jen loves scott (and son) asked me to be part of a blog tour. normally, i say no to these kinds of things. they are kinda like the chain letters you used to get in the mail where if you didn't send a letter to 10 other people, something horrible would happen to you. i remember getting one in middle school that said your walkman would stop working. it was the '90s so that was the absolute worst thing imaginable. 

this blog tour comes with no strings attached (that i know of) and i have an iPod now, not a walkman, so my technology should be safe.

this post is supposed to be all about the blog writing process. i teach about this topic as it pertains to an organization in my classes, but this is more about personal blogging. so here goes ...

1. what am i working on?

i'm not sure i fully understand this question, but i will do my best to answer. right now, i am working on all things student publications. this week holds yearbook distribution day as well as the last issue of the school newspaper. being an adviser, my role is minimal, but i still help copy edit and stress out right along with my staff members. this is an exciting time in our office and i couldn't be more proud of my amazing staff. 

i am also working on a freelance project for an organization based out of columbus. i am working on their new organizational blog and that, of course, debuts this week as well. it has been a fun project, but has required me digging out old files from my indesign cs2 days. what fun it has been to export all of these files into cs6 (is the sarcasm transferring across the inter webs???). i love this company and have loved working for them and i really hope they love their new site. 

what i have not been working on is my blog. oops ... for some reason, personal writing tends to be the last thing on my to do list. but come summer, i will be right back to blogging semi regularly ... when i'm not poolside ... or on vacation. so you might hear from me once or twice. 

2. how does my work differ from others of its genre?

my blog is technically a lifestyle blog, although i am not advocating that someone should take tips from my blog on how to live their life. that actually made me laugh out loud at the thought! i mostly started this blog as a way for my family to keep up with what nate, kevin and i are up to in arkansas. they read pretty regularly (way to go dad!), but my biggest demographic has actually been my students. which is fun, but also strange when one of them comes up and talks to me about what i did over the weekend. or how much they liked my sweater in that post from two years ago. i think that dynamic is what makes my blog unique.

3. why do i write what i do?

for those of you who know me in real life, i tend to be a bit scattered. for those of you who only know me through this blog, i tend to be a bit scattered. i write what i do because that is how my brain works (or doesn't work). i write things that are interesting to me, and i write things because i haven't posted in three weeks and feel like i should write something. i also write about the things i love. which apparently are netflix, nate and kevin (but maybe not in that order). i would love to have theme days, but i can't keep a schedule from week to week. blogging for me is an escape from daily life and a way to keep up with my writing. i used to keep a diary (seriously great reading for anyone who is interested), so now this is how i keep track of my life. i also don't have a great memory, so i think of this as a record for future katie as well. 

4. how does your writing process work?

at the very start of my blog, i kept a journal with ideas to make sure i could make it through a whole month of blogging. since i ran through this list, i now get ideas from things i am doing or places i am going. since i don't do much or go many places, i also rely on ideas from things i read or other blogs i am inspired by. i love #tbt because old pictures of friends and family are a great thing to put on the internet. most of the time, i think about an idea for several days and then wait till i feel like writing and then just do the whole thing in one sitting. i rarely go back and edit (and i know you can tell), but i edit all of the time for my job and just don't like to edit personal writing. maybe i will hire someone to edit for me one day. that is the absolute worst thing a teacher can ever say, but there it is. if i re-read too many times, i know it's not a good post so i scrap it. usually, i like what i have written on the first go and then don't look back. some posts are good and others just ok. the most popular ones tend to include nate. i guess since i talk all the time, people want to hear from the quiet guy next to me. i get that. nate is pretty weird and interesting.

i did not tag anyone else in this blog tour, mainly because all of my blog friends have already done something similar. and i really don't have that many friends. 

hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes look at kate+nate.

love, katie


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

happy easter

i love easter, but not in the same 'let's decorate the house like crazy' in the christmas kinda way. easter is also one of those holidays that is hard to decorate for. unlike christmas where i have no problem setting up my manger scene under my christmas tree, i just can't seem to hang a cross next to the easter bunny. i tend to not decorate with religious details anyways, so i mostly stick with eggs and bunnies. this year, i opted for very subtle (lazy) decorations that are more springy than easter. except for my giant burlap egg on my front door. definitely easter.

we celebrated by attending early service on campus with a few hundred students, faculty and visiting folks, and then ate a big easter lunch. i actually cooked a whole chicken, a task that i have never attempted by myself before, but ended up being pretty successful. i had only one minor freak out where i couldn't find the giblets and had to call my brother eric. five minutes before he arrived, i realized that my chicken did not come with giblets (or a neck apparently) and i had been stressed for nothing. but eric helped me tie up the chicken, and informed me i was cooking it upside, so he was helpful anyway. i followed the amazing ina garten's recipe for the perfect roast chicken and it was delicious. and of course the pioneer woman steered me in the right direction with her scalloped potatoes, which i made gluten-free with the quick substitution of gluten-free flour. i also made green beans and a big spinach salad. we decorated cookies for dessert and then promptly fell asleep for a great sunday afternoon nap. after a long weekend, it was most appreciated.

i even got to bust out my pink depression glass goblets from nate's grandma, which i haven't been able to do since not many holidays call for pink drinking glasses. they made the meal feel extra fancy.
easter sunday//tulips//cookies


cutest couple award

tomorrow, i will be posting about the blogging process, courtesy of the lovely jennifer at jenn loves scott. check out her post from last week (and see her adorable son in his easter outfit!).

hope you all had a happy easter!

love, katie

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

m.i.a.

sorry for the hiatus, but life sometimes (always) gets in the way of blogging. 
here are a few photos of what i have been up to lately:

'merica//spring sing practice//senior art show
new from zulily
getting ready for spring sing
creepin on nate while he works
the goofy petit jean yearbook staff
yum
love, katie

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

gluten free at disney: part two

my brother, eric, sat down with me this weekend to talk about eating gluten free at disney. here is part two. scroll down for yesterdays post about the magic kingdom and more!

day 4: epcot

eric: day of tacos. mas tacos. yeah ... i ate tacos twice that day. i had chicken tacos with nachos and salsa. dessert was churritos, which i couldn't eat. they looked yummy, but i had dole whip instead. we ate at la hacienda de san angel.

nate: doesn't every town have a mexican restaurant called la hacienda. what does hacienda mean? kitchen?

eric: no, kitchen is cocina. for dinner, we went back to la hacienda because scott hadn't had them and walking to germany was too far. the second time, i got the beef tacos. they were both really delicious. both tacos had corn tortillas, which are gluten free.

wait, i got hungry again and had more dinner. we went back to the hotel and found a carving station at the commissary so i had turkey, mashed potatoes (no gravy, as that has gluten) and corn. and apple juice. dessert was a snickers bar, which is also gluten free. the meal was actually really good. delicious turkey.

day 5: animal kingdom

eric: rawr. that was a good meal that day. we ate the take out version of the yak and yeti, one of the family's favorite restaurants at disney. i had a sliced grilled chicken sandwich on a millet bun, with jasmine rice and apple juice. the sandwich was great, especially since my sandwiches are so rare these days. i really liked that bread. for dessert, i had a lemonade icee. the chef came to talk with me there too. he ran through all of the options he could make for me, which was really nice. he talked about not using the same cooking utensils for the gluten free options, which was also reassuring.

this park also has a allergy free hut, but i didn't get a chance to eat there. they had cookies, rice chips, vegan cookies and cupcakes, mostly just snacks.

for dinner that night, we went back to the hotel where i had ... carved turkey, mashed potatoes and corn. it was really good. is it embarrassing to eat the same meal two nights in a row? then we played euchre.

day 6: magic kingdom (again)

eric: we went back to magic kingdom for our last day at the park. we went back to the beast's castle and ate in the rose gallery, open only during lunch. there were big tapestry's with scenes from the movie and two big figurines of belle and beast dancing. like a jewelry box, where they just spin (he proceeds to spin around). i had a prime rib sandwich, on millet bread, with fries and again, the lemon dessert. dad ate it.

for dinner, we went back to the hotel. again. i know, i know, but it was really good. i had grilled chicken and mashed potatoes and corn. you know, all the tan colors. my tan plate. tan is ... grand? is that a saying?

eric was lucky enough to meet that rascal peter pan and his friend wendy. jealous.
conclusion: a gluten free disney is just as magical. it was so easy to eat there. coming back, it was reality of thinking about what i have to cook and eat again. i had no idea they would be that accommodating. the allergy free mouse blog was a great resource and i referred to their site the whole trip.

hope this made your day a little more magical.

love, katie

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

gluten free at disney: part one

so you all know that i was a big girl and made the decision to stay home for spring break instead of going to disney with my family (i know, i know, at least i get a spring break). even though i missed the trip, my brothers eric and scott went and had a great time. they are both gluten free since before christmas, so this was an exploratory trip in terms of food they could eat.

eric stocked up on gluten free bars, cookies and nuts expecting to have to make his own meals, but was pleasantly surprised that disney is a very accommodating resort for food allergies. a little background on eric — he is 23, an exercise science major and he lived with us for a few years through college. he is planning on graduating this may.

he graciously (by force and a free dinner) sat down with me to chronicle his meals to help others looking for gluten free options at the happiest place on earth. i decided to break it up into two posts, so be looking for part two next week.

(eric, nate and I were all present for this interview. we are in different colors to help guide you through our weirdness).
day 1: downtown disney

eric: we went to the t-rex restaurant. people are going to know I'm a child. don't embarrass me on this, make me look cool. you're writing all of this aren't you ... you monster. anyways, we went to the t-rex restaurant and ordered the half chicken and fry meal, thinking they were regular fries. i questioned them when they came out, as they looked battered. i asked the waitress and she confirmed that it was indeed a light batter that contained gluten. the chef came out and asked about my allergy and then brought me out a brand new plate with mashed potatoes instead of fries. he then told me that disney takes allergies really seriously, and that all the disney restaurants had gluten free options.

day 2: magic kingdom
(my family did the quick service dining option, with two quick meals and one snack per day)

eric: was i anticipating a gluten craving? yes. churros, funnel cakes from sleepy hollow, and mickey shaped pretzels.

our first meal of the day was the 'be our guest' dining hall at the beauty and the beast castle in the new portion of fantasyland. we chose to eat at ... what's it called? the west wing? (nate interjects with an impersonation of the beast from the movie, "the west wing, raaaarr. what's in the west wing? it's forbidden"). yes, the west wing. where the rose sits. to order, there was a screen with a button at the top that says 'allergens' with nine options to choose from (corn, shellfish, eggs, soy, fish, tree nut, milk, wheat and peanut). so you click the button and it changes the screen to only gluten free items. then you choose your entree, i had a turkey sandwich on millet bread. i also got a side, either green beans or french fries. i chose the french fries because obviously green beans are super gross. then i had one dessert option, a lemon puff pastry. i didn't like it because i don't like lemon. overall, it was really good. it was my first sandwich since i had gone gluten free and it was great bread. it actually tasted like normal bread.


we ate dinner at the resort, the all-stars movie hotel. they had a commissary with four or five different areas you could eat from. and they were all movie themed, which was fun. that night i had a grilled chicken sandwich minus the bun, with chips.

my snack that day was dole whip, pineapple on pineapple, and it was delicious. (if you haven't been to disney, the dole whip is a must. i took a buzzfeed quiz on what disney snack you are and this is the one i got).

day 3: hollywood studios

eric: we ate lunch at pizza planet. this is when disney got real serious about gluten free. i looked online that morning to make sure they had gluten free options and when i went to order, i asked what their options were, and she pressed her computer screen and it called out the chef. he came out and ran through the options for me, different types of pizza (said no way to the veggie options) and ordered pepperoni. he said the dessert options were between gluten free cookies or a brownie and i chose brownie. instead of picking up my pizza at the window, i got a buzzer. when my food was ready, i met the chef and he came out with my food on a separate tray. he asked if i had any questions about the preparation. the brand they used was amy's, who makes a lot of pizza dough. the pizza was a flatbread style and it was pretty good. it looked like cardboard compared to my mom's thick crust pizza, but it tasted good. the brownie was a brand called omg, and it was super yummy. they come frozen, but they were really good and tasted like a real brownie.


did i have a snack that day? i remember scott had a funnel cake with ice cream on top and it just killed me, but i don't think i had a snack that day. he ate it all and i watched. i just wanted a little powdered sugar.

my brothers, eric and scott. aren't they handsome? hahaha...

read more later this week!

love, katie

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

guest blogging

read more here
so today, i guest blogged for harding university. if you want to read about why i chose harding as my employer, follow the link here! the alternative title for this post was 'take your wife to work' day, but nate vetoed that. it is more of a kate+nate title anyways ...

love, katie

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

good eats in missouri

i have been eating pretty well lately. and by pretty well, i mean great tasting junk food. and a lot of it. i don't mean to brag, but i recently chaperoned a group of students to missouri and we ate like kings along the way. some of my favorite southern restaurants were in the mix, including lambert's cafe (home of the throwed rolls) and shakespeare's pizza on the university of missouri at columbia's campus.

photo from here

for anyone road tripping through missouri, a stop at the university of missouri at columbia is a lot of fun. they have a great campus, with a huge student union complete with escalators. it looks like a nice mall from the outside. their downtown campus area is also fantastic, with cute shops and great food dispersed. some of the roads are still cobblestoned, and the university itself is pretty historic as being the first to include a journalism program in the country way back when. some harding alumni took us on a tour a few years ago and while i loved all of the history, the best thing they led us to was shakespeare's for a slice (and by slice i mean four). weird topping combos for the adventurous, delicious cheese for the pizza purists and a great atmosphere to say ... discuss a putt putt course theme for searcy.


ever have one of those days where you just crave bread ... and some athleticism? lambert's cafe (in springfield and sikestown) kinda combines these two loves into one unique dining experience. the term "throwed rolls" is not a baking process; it's a warning. see the roll trolley? raise your hand and some of the most delicious and soft rolls come hurtling towards you at this interactive restaurant. they also have what they call pass arounds; side dishes come around in big bowls that you can have ladled onto your plate or napkin. these include fried okra, mac n' cheese and tomatoes, and black eyed peas to name a few. the rest of the food is pretty typical southern fare, with fried chicken arriving in the skillet it was cooked in. everything is big and hearty and you can surely eat your weight in rolls if you choose. it's also just a lot of fun. be warned that the lines are looonng with no reservations in sight and it's cash/check only!


we also made a fun pit stop in branson, the gatlinburg of the south. here we ate at another fun restaurant my mom and i stumbled upon last year. this makes it sound like a little hole in the wall place that we discovered, but it's actually a bit of a tourist attraction. and sometimes that is ok. we ate at mel's hard luck diner, where your server is also serenading you and hoping to break into the biz. typical diner food, but excellent milkshakes, and again, a fun place for a big group. our server did an excellent rendition of 'let it go' from frozen, and had our whole table singing along!

needless to say, it was a great trip made even better by good food and company. i have now purchased this large bag of kale to try to make amends with my body after this mini food-cation. i have never tried kale before, but go big or go home, right?


i'll update if i make anything somewhat good out of this big bag of leaves ...

love, katie