Saturday, August 27

lady dates

As you guys know, I'm on my 12-day-summer, and I have been trying to squeeze every ounce of fun out of it as I can! While still trying to read & relax and get my ass in gear at the gym. It's been an interesting combo of ambitions, that's for sure! And during my break, I did manage to get together with two of my girlfriends for some much-needed lady dates!

On Wednesday, Erin and I decided to meet up at The Bent Fork in Loveland for some wine and dinner. Beforehand, I decided to check whether I could find any coupons for The Bent Fork, since it's a little pricy. On facebook, I saw that if you "check in" there with your phone, you can get 20% off of your entree. Awesome! Except for the fact that my phone looks like this:

Does it look like my phone has check-in capabilities?


So I proceeded to ask The Bent Fork on facebook whether I could just write in my status or something that I was going to ear there and if I could get the 20% off deal. Their response was WAY better than anticipated! They said if I could get 10 people to "like" The Bent Fork on facebook, they'd give me a $25 gift card! Say whaaaaat?!?! Okay! Apparently I have some pretty quick-acting awesome friends on facebook, because within an hour of me releasing a "pleaseohplease like The Bent Fork so I can get a gift card" plea into facebookland, over 10 people got it done! So that was completely AWESOME to get an unexpected gift card! it kind of helps offset the gas money I spent driving down there, and then I felt I could be a little more indulgent with my meal! [by the way, this was my "last meal" before I started the body for life challenge :) ] I had a divine salmon salad, sweet potato french fries, a chilled glass of Riesling, and Erin and I split an insanely delicious caramel brownie dessert.

Then, since Erin and I are chattier than almost any two gals I've ever seen together, we decided to stroll around the shops for a bit. I made a few purchases - but they are totally justifiable! I am starting work at a clinic this fall as a PA Student, and I am in need of a few new business casual pieces. Up 'til now, my wardrobe has been full of:

a) scrubs 
b) American Eagle 
c) 2 suits and 
d) cleavage revealing tops and dresses.

Clearly none of a - d are appropriate for a business casual workplace. So, I feel completely justified in my Banana Republic [clearance!] and NY&C [only $15] buys. Okay, maybe a tad guilty since I'm over-justifying, but whatever  :)

We had a FAB night - and I love this girl!

Lady Date #2 went down yesterday with my girl Pro! [wow, just realized both dates were with fellow bloggers!] Lindsey came to Denver so that we could hit up the Tattered Cover, drink some tea, have some lunch, shop, and see a movie! Going to the Tattered Cover was on my 101 Things All Coloradans Should Do List that I found online a while back, so we decided to check it off the list! The Tattered Cover is a good-sized bookstore with a quaint feel. It offers both new and gently used books, a small coffee shop, and plenty of cozy chairs with which to park yourself with a good read. 

We enjoyed strolling around the store with our uber-hot teas, picking up interesting-looking books [we totally judge books by their covers, and wine by their labels for that matter!], and exclaiming, "Ooooh, did you ever read _______? It's so good" whenever we passed by one of our favorite reads.

And can you believe it - I didn't buy one single book! Oh I wanted to. I LOVE buying books. I am so proud of myself. I have at least 5 books at home waiting to be read, and I know with fall semester starting up on Monday [10 classes - 24 credits - YIKES] I won't be finishing my book stash anytime soon! I felt very responsible in that moment of resistance!

We sort of abruptly ended our book-perusing time as my large green tea had found my bladder, so we headed off to Cherry Creek for some lunch at Kona Grill! This place is quickly becoming one of my favorites for 2 reasons:

1. Lunch meal specials and happy hour specials
2. The food is SO. GOOD.

I mean, I got this fantastic spinach salad with strawberries, kiwis, cashews, blue cheese, chicken, and jalapeno raspberry vinaigrette that was probably the best salad I have EVER tasted! I was totally in love with it. I also got a spicy tuna roll! All for 10 bucks! Worth it! 

 Here's Lindsey's plate! Isn't sushi just so beautiful?!? And props to Pro for eating the real deal! My version of sushi is exclusive to they kind wrapped in rice and seaweed!

After our perfect and satisfying lunch, we strolled on over to the movie theater to catch Horrible Bosses. On our way, I found a cute pair of black shoes with a small heel on clearance at Bakers! And since I had a gift card to Bakers, it wasn't even really a purchase at all! [okay, that kind of talk is when Tyler compares me to the main character out of Confessions of a Shopaholic. Justifying purchases so much that they cease to even be purchases anymore, haha.] They are super cute and will be perfect for clinicals. Although - Erin, I'm now wishing I bought some of those business socks at NY&C haha :)

Anyway, we watched Horrible Bosses, and it was pretty entertaining! I'm always rooting for Jennifer Aniston, and boy - did she bust out of her typical nice-girl role in this film! The movie was a bit raunchy, and Colin Farell made me want to vomit instead of swoon, but it was pretty funny. Kevin Spacy played a great villain as usual, and the cast seemed to work really well together! 

In all, another wonderful day spent with a wonderful lady!

I'm so happy I had the time to see a few of my girls! I certainly didn't get 1-on-1 dates with everyone I would've liked this break, but I'll take what I can get! Knowing my impending doom beings Monday with microbiology, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, obstetrics, neonate, medical spanish, clinicals, physical diagnosis, psychosocial aspects of healthcare, and clinical reasoning. Damn. *sigh* 

It's off to the gym I go! Day 3 of Body For Life is underway and going well! Last night I lifted the shit out of my legs, and today it's cardio!!! 

CHEERS [to lady dates everywhere!]

catching fire + mockingjay

Hey y'all! I here to triumphantly tell you have finished the Hunger Games series! It was one of my goals for my mini-12-day-summer-vacation, and I have also hit books #10 and #11 in my 12 books in 2011 ambition. Looks like I'll be hitting my 12 hopefully! I want to review the two sequels for you, and encourage you to scoot on over to your local library or bookstore and get a start on the series! So. Good. 

If you missed my review of The Hunger Games, you can read it here :)
[these following reviews contain a bit of a spoiler for the 1st book, FYI]

Catching Fire 
by Suzanne Collins

Miraculously, Katniss and Peeta survived the 74th Hunger Games. This book picks up in the aftermath of the games, back home for Katniss in District 12. Everything she has ever known has changed since the Games. Her relationship with Peeta, Gale [her once best friend and boyfriend], and her mother and sister are on the brink of being destroyed as a result of Katniss's actions during and after the Games. The nightmares from the arena haunt Katniss every moment of every day. And Katniss's final moment in the arena were an act of ultimate defiance of the Capitol, an act the President is determined to punish Katniss for by tearing apart her life person-by-person.

As the 75th Hunger Games are being planned, Katniss learns they are the Quarter Quell - a "special" year of games to "celebrate" another 25 years since the Dark Days of the districts' rebellion. The Quarter Quell gives the President an opportunity to punish the districts beyond the regular severity of the games. He mandates that this years contestants be comprised of previous winners of the Hunger Games. This is completely unprecedented, as all Hunger Games victors have always been guaranteed immunity from the games for the rest of their lives. 

This exciting sequel takes you through the 75th Hunger Games, and a plot for district rebellion against the Capitol is slowly revealed. It was not as "I can't put this down!" as the first book, but definitely worth your time!

by Suzanne Collins

The third book is the final installment to the Hunger Games series. It follows Katniss and crew at the abrupt ending of the Quarter Quell. Rebellion is all around Katniss, and she is expected to be an inspirational rebel leader because of her televised Capitol defiance during her first trip to the Hunger Games. This book wraps everything up, and follows the country Panem as they embark upon an all out civil war. Lives are lost, but will the freedom they fight for be gained?

I said it in the Hunger Games review, but this series is kind of a cross between 1984 and The Giver for me. It has 1984's political storyline, but you are more connected to the characters like you are in The Giver. I was connected alright, shed some tears in Catching Fire, and BAWLED my way through the end of Mockingjay

I am SO glad I read these books!
Well on my way to my 12 books in 12 months self-imposed challenge :)
And I CANNOT wait to see the Hunger Games when it hits theaters in March!!! 
The cast looks phenomenal! 

Cheers [to good reads!]

Thursday, August 25

body for life

Okay, as most of you know, my commitment to fitness has been an ongoing battle for me for...forever! I love to be active, but I get dedicated in spurts. I'll be a gym rat for 2 weeks then a couch potato for 3 weeks, gym rat, couch potato...needless to say, it gets me nowhere. One thing I do know about myself is that I do well with tangible goals. It's difficult for me to just lose those 20 pounds I need to lose without some time frame in mind or a physical challenge to work toward. 

One of my good friends told me yesterday about It's essentially a website designed to help people challenge themselves for 12 weeks. The website provides meal plans, workout plans, success stories, motivational blurbs, and a community of people who are trying to get more fit. 3 months. That's it. You submit before and after photos of yourself, and there are even prizes for people who do well in both their inner and outer transformation. 

As my friend Jamey put it, "You only have pounds to lose, right?" Absolutely!

I'm not ready to share my "before" picture with you. Facing that picture of myself in a bikini this morning was really hard. It is all the motivation I need to do this 12-week-challenge. But instead of my typical response to myself in a bikini, which is generally along the lines of disgust and disappointment in myself, that picture got me all revved up to begin this challenge with a bang! I do not want to have to look at myself like that again!

I'm planning on kicking ass in this challenge. Because I need it. My health needs it. My confidence needs it. And I'm planning on taking pictures of my physical progress every 4 weeks. Eventually I promise to share those pictures and numbers [eek] with you. 

If anyone else would like to do this journey with me, let me know! The more motivation and encouragement we can garner for each other, the better!

Please hold me accountable! I'll be updating you on how it's all going :)
12 weeks! A person can do anything for only 12 weeks!


PS - just got back from the gym! Did 20 mins on the stairs and 25 mins on the treadmill - speedwalking on incline! It's a start!

Tuesday, August 23

the cutest hair accessories EVER!!!

Good morning!

I feel compelled to share one of my best fashion finds with you! Kathryn Clark, hair accessory designer of Elli's Bowtique, is a hair fashion genius!!! I think she originally started designing with babies in mind, but she has made 3 headbands for me, and I ADORE them!!!

This was my first order from Kathryn. I asked her to make something with two bright rosettes and some sparkle, and she came up with the perfect thing for me! I love this headband so much! And it's on a really stretchy band that doesn't a) hurt my head or b) fall off of my head! Perfection!

This is one of Kathryn's designs I just had to have for my own. I love this one!

This is my latest one from Kathryn, just arrived in the mail today! Will be SO fun for fall!!!

I custom ordered this one for a friend of mine's newborn baby girl, and it just arrived today too! She comes up with the most perfect combinations! When I ordered it I simply asked for something with neutral colored rosettes and maybe a feather...and this is what she came up with! It's absolutely perfect :)

You can find Kathryn's etsy store at to peruse her beautiful creations or you can email her at if you have a special order in mind! 

If you could use a fun hair pretty for yourself or if you know a little girl who would be tickled to have one of Kathryn's special creations, order away! I promise, she is incredible to work with! Prompt, durable work, and really reasonably priced! I'm talking each headband is only $7 or $8!!! 

Happy shopping!
Cheers :)

my french morning

This morning I went to a place in Cherry Creek called Crepes 'n Crepes, and I was totally taken to another place [figuratively speaking, of course]. As I sat at the small, round table outside of the cafe, taking in the sunshine, listening to the waiters converse in French, and sipping a chilled glass of water, I couldn't help but feel like a character straight out of The Sun Also Rises. If you haven't read that book, it's a Hemingway classic and you definitely should. But if follows the main characters as they gallivant around Paris and Pamplona, living a life of indulgence and drinking. In the book, the characters spend every morning relishing a delicious French breakfast, and although I wasn't hungover like they usually are, I enjoyed my turn at a French cafe [even if it is in Denver]. 

My friend came to join me, and we decided to split two crepes so that we could enjoy both a sweet and a savory kind of crepe. For sweet we had strawberries with chocolate sauce --- yum! But the winner for me was the ham and mozzarella crepe! Soooooo gooey and just divine!

I totally recommend this charming and delicious cafe to anyone looking to try something new! 

Cheers [to new experiences - y'all know how I like those!]

BLT - my way!

Happy Tuesday!

Last night I made the most delicious BLT - so I thought you foodies might want to know about it! 

  • I started with a fresh loaf of warm French bread, and cut it in pretty thick slices [about an inch?]. 
  • I then cooked some turkey bacon [Jennie-O] using an awesome new method I learned in my Bon Apetit magazine. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Arrange your bacon on a rack that you have set on top of a foil-lined baking sheet Bake for 10-15 minutes or until browned and crisp. I loved this method! You can cook a lot more bacon at once than in a frying pan, and there's next to zero mess!
  • While the bacon was cooking, I mixed some mayo with chili powder in a small bowl to make a spicy mayo. I spread it on one of the slices of French bread. 
  • I then sliced a tomato and a yellow onion, and put slices on the mayo'd side of bread.
  • Then washed baby romaine lettuce and layered it on the dry piece of bread.
  • Add some sizzlin' turkey, and voila! You have a spicy, warm, delicious BLT with a twist :)

Does anyone else have delicious BLT recipes I should try?!?
Let me know if you try mine and if you like it!

Cheers! [sorry for the crappy photo]

summer fun [july]

Yesterday, I caught you up with June's shenanigans. Since I was also MIA in blogland throughout July too, today I'm sharing my July happenings with you :)

In July we celebrated lots of birthdays - including my little sister's 17th! Here she is the with fairy that came in her birthday card, haha :)

Went to Fort Collins for a weekend and saw Transformers 3! Loved it except for the new chick/love story situation. 

Went to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival and wished I could afford to buy this beautiful picture of a beach made up of colorful seashells. Got yelled at buy this photographer for taking a picture of it. 

Went to Happy Hour at Kona Grill! Hello $3 sushi rolls and margaritas!

Played with sparklers in our backyard on the 4th of July

It rained a LOT in July. And we found this guy in our backyard one night. I love worms. Weird, I know.

July was Penny's feet-biting month. Hence the homemade booties and cone-of-shame. She's so pissed she won't even look at the camera. 

HARRY POTTER 7 PART 2 CAME OUT! And we saw it at the Cine Capri theater! Don't know if you can tell from the picture, but the screen is like 3 times the size of a regular movie theater screen! It was awesome! Loved the last movie - cried the WHOLE time!!!

Boots are on for a night of fun at Cowboy Lounge!

One of my very best childhood friends was back in the states for a while [she teaches in China], so we met up for some fun at the 16th Street Mall and indulged on blueberry salads and frozen yogurt! Mmmmm

Took the dogs to the dog park. I think we ALL needed this outing! Our escape within the city is definitely the Cherry Creek Dog Park. 

One of my best friends had her baby! Sweet baby Ember :)

I became a BRUNETTE! My mom's first reaction was, "Welcome to the dark side!" haha. It's lightened up a bit from the first day, but I love it! It's definitely less maintenance and will be fun for fall. Don't be surprised if spring brings back a blonde Kaity though!

And that, my friends, is July!

Tomorrow I'll be reviewing the sequels to the Hunger Games! Stop on by :)


Monday, August 22

summer fun [june]

So, I'm aware that I was practically MIA in all of June and July, and I know you all are dying to be up to speed on my life, right? Sure ;) You've already read the latest hopeful story on Naggie, the never-ending health issues of Penny, and the quick-and-dirty details of school, but there is plenty of my summer I haven't told you about yet. So let's catch you up!

Went to a really sketch bar called Caldonia's for dinner with the Rose Girls. Apparently Thursday night is Biker Night at Caldonia's...let's just say our missing leather, bandanas, and handlebar mustaches caused us to stick out a bit...

At Caldonia's we played a "Minute to Win It" game where you had one minute to hit your 3 limes in the white square with a banana that dangles from your hips...WTF?! But I won, and got a t-shirt and some swag. I love impulsive random things like that! PS - it's harder than it looks --- you should try it sometime!

Went to Lyons with the in-laws to celebrate Father's Day and June birthdays. Ate at Oskar Blues for the first time! Remember that ambitious list of 101 things all Coloradans should do that I posted? Well, Oskar Blues and the Lyons pinball were on that list --- check and check! I feel like I did the 2 things there are to do in Lyons, and yeah, I don't really plan on going back ever :)

Tyler got me "just because" flowers --- my favorite rainbow daisies :)

We went to the Garden Grapes and Hops Event at the Denver Botanic Gardens with my family! One of my favorite summer Denver things to do. Pay an entrance fee, then fill up with as much food, wine, and beer from local restaurants, vineyards, and breweries as you can! All while meandering through the beautiful gardens and listening to live music play under the stars. Certainly a recipe for success!

Tyler built the dogs a doghouse - since June and July Colorado behaved like a flood-prone state. With my long days at school, we wanted them to have some shelter in the back yard!

Cute bandana puppies excited about their new doghouse :)

My baby [Marine] brother came home from his tour in Japan, and we spent a night with him and his then-fiance out in Denver!

At a Rockies game

My brother and my new sister-in-law :)

The hubs shaved his head - taking control of his balding [yep, that's what he said, haha]

Our wonderful friends Joedy and Dave got married!

And we celebrated with them

Hugging my BFF 

Photobooth fun at Joedy and Dave's reception!

My class and I celebrated the end of our first Anatomy exam...

The hubs and I had a nice sushi dinner out at Blue Fin Sushi

Enjoyed some summer beers rooftop at Sports Column

From the roof we could see the post-Rockies game fireworks!

Met up with some Rose Ladies for a night out on the town!

 So, while I spent the *vast* majority of my time in June studying, apparently I had plenty of fun on the side! I think the fact that my BFF hairstylist made me uber-blonde for the summer really helped ;)

Stay tuned for July's update tomorrow!

Cheers! [to summer fun!]