Boomers, Generations

Not for me, Boomer.

Every year when the weather gets cold, I get to break out my favorite winter hat. I’ve had this hat forever, and I LOVE it because it fits snugly and looks decent on my head.

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At the end of last year, however, one of the flowers on my hat started falling off. It’s literally hanging by a thread.

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It’s likely relatively easy to sew back on and it will be good as new again. And I THINK I have a needle and thread somewhere in the house. But, the thing is, I don’t sew.

Sewing is one of those things my parents’ generation did. And there are other things the Boomer generation do that you won’t ever find me doing.

Things the Boomer generation do that just aren’t for me.

Sewing.

I remember when I was little my mother had this pin cushion shaped like a tomato filled with stick pins with little balls on the ends in rainbow of colors. Also in the cushion was always a needle or two, long tail of thread hanging off of them. There was also an accompanying plastic box of straight pins because you never could have too many pins, I guess. But the thing was, she used that pin cushion all the time, to attach a button, sew a rip or hem pants. Me? I tend to ship out my sewing to my mother or mother-in-law.

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Ironing.

There is nothing I hate more than ironing. Though I feel every house should have an ironing board, and we have a full-sized one in our front hall closet. But my mother’s and grandmother’s generation, all they did was iron. My grandmother used to iron my grandfather’s handkerchiefs, jeans and sheets. Ironing clothes is somewhat of a ritual. There would be one night during the weekend that was “ironing night” and my mother would be downstairs, standing in front of the ironing board, watching the soap operas she had recorded on the VCR during the day (no digital cable back in the day) and she’d spend hours – yes hours – pressing clothes. I hate ironing so much, that I have shirts I’ve never worn again because they were too wrinkled.

Spring Cleaning.

Back in my past life I worked on a household cleaner brand. Every year we’d need to come up with clever campaigns for the Spring Cleaning season. And every year I’d have to fight the urge to tell the client ‘Spring Cleaning isn’t a thing anymore for the under 60 crowd!’ Maybe it’s just me, but when the weather starts to morph from winter to spring, I don’t dedicate a weekend to changing comforters, curtains and deep cleaning with Lysol. What do you say that instead of spring cleaning, how about we just do “regular cleaning” all year round?

Watch the news…on TV.

Admittedly, I don’t want any type of news (isn’t that was social media is for?) but the Boomer generation are die-hard news watchers. And they watch the news multiple times in one night – the 5pm, the 6pm and then sometimes the 11pm. Even though it’s the SAME NEWS told by a different set of plastic anchors covered in pancake makeup.

 

I’m embarrassed to say, that I tried to fix my hat with a piece of scotch tape. That’s right, I tried to tape the flower back on so it didn’t flop around when I was wearing it. But I just can’t bring myself to bust out a needle and thread.

It’s just not for me, Boomer.

memories

The 10 Year Transformation of KK

I’ve seen lots of people posting their “decade difference” photos on Facebook lately.

I haven’t done it, but I did peek through my photos from 2009, and if I had to describe myself in one word, it would be “rested”. And I mean that physically – I was getting enough sleep – and emotionally because I let my brain rest at night.

I thought I’d go back to some of my 2009 photos and see if I could share what I was doing, what was going on in my life, and point out what a difference 10 years DOES make.

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This was taken at summer outing for the creative agency. I’m standing on a picnic table and dancing and singing to some song, and in this moment I caught whoever was taking my photo in the act. This is the look of someone who worked long hours and was taking full advantage of being fed and liquored up on the company’s dime. Also good to note, I’m wearing a pair of jeans that were my most favorite, that I found at a TJ Maxx, and I never to this day have had a pair of jeans that I loved as much – and that fit as well – as those jeans. They were my very own version of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. You’ll also notice I’m wearing a shirt that will appear again and again…and a shirt that currently hangs in my closet (I’m not sure if I should be proud or embarrassed by this fact). What I AM proud of, is that this top, if you must know, was one of the first – if not THE first – things I ever bought from TARGET. It’s a Mossimo original (remember them?) One word I’d use to describe myself in this photo: letting loose (okay, that’s two words).

Moving on…

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Apparently, this was the shirt of 2009! This was taken on one of the first family vacations we ever went on in Newport, Rhode Island. After dinner, me and Mr. KK and both sets of our parents went to a bar across the street from the place we had dinner and got our drank on. There are very few mixed drinks that I even like, so I’m not even sure what I’m drinking here – likely vodka and club soda. The jukebox was on, we were playing pool and having a great time. I can honestly remember this might like it was last week. My skin looks healthy, I have definition in my cheekbones and a nice golden color on my skin from the sun. One word I’d use to describe myself in this photo: carefree. (Also, drunk)

And one of my favorites…

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I call this one, “kk after a few drinks wanting to take a nap but realizing that she needs to rally”. (That’s basically the caption of every photo taken of me in college after 8pm, too). This was in Boston, at the Nine Zero Hotel, the weekend of my 5 year cancer-free appointment at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. We had gotten the great news that I was cleared, and we went out celebrating. I should also note that both sets of parents were with us on this trip, too. That scarf would soon become my “signature scarf” (could I sound more pretentious?). One word I’d use to describe myself in this photo: relieved.

Overall, in the pics from me 10 years ago, I look younger, healthier, thinner and more relaxed. My back didn’t creak when I sat for too long. My body didn’t require 10 minutes of “preparation” to get out of bed and stand upright. My hair was lush and full and I didn’t feel like it was all falling out. And I was sporting a mad eyebrow game.

Do I miss 10 years ago me? Sure, I miss some parts. (Like boozy brunches. You never get to go to a proper Sunday brunch when you have kids.)

Would I swap my life today for 10 years ago kk? Never.

Kids will be kids

Aren’t 5 year olds fun sometimes?

Our Little Mister is embracing his independence now that he is “one whole hand” old.

I’ve heard the term “three-nager” but what do we call the 5 year old who knows everything?

We love this kid like crazy, but we’d be lying if we said some of his antics didn’t drive us crazy.

Here are the super fun things going on in our house right now:

Clothing is a thing. He has an opinion about everything that goes on his body. Pants aren’t “cozy” enough. Sweatshirts aren’t an “all day shirt”. His new sneakers are “too hard”.

He. Doesn’t. Go. To. Sleep. Every night there is a song and dance at bedtime. Sometimes it’s too dark. Then it’s too hot. Then he wants Rocco. Then Rocco is moving too much. Then he’s thirsty. Then he wants to ask a question. Then he needs to be tucked in. Then he needs to tell us something. Then…it’s 9:30pm and he’s still not sleeping.

Bionic hearing. This kid hears everything. Let’s just say, we can no longer have adult conversations in the house without someone piping up and asking questions about what we mean, or why so-and-so is doing this or that. So now Mr. KK and I are resigned to talk to each during the times that we’re awake but the Little Mister isn’t. So, for about 5 minutes a day.

We are constantly getting interrupted. When Mr. KK and I do try and have a conversation – what we’re having for dinner, what we’re doing that weekend, nothing deep or meaningful, we save that for our 5 minutes of kid-free time – we are immediately interrupted by an incessant little voice saying, “Mommy. Mommy. Mom. Mom. Mommy. MOOOOOMMMMMYYYYY.” And it doesn’t stop until we answer.

It’s very LOUD in our house. Are kids just programmed to only speak at one decibel: ear-splitting? We could be standing next to the Little Mister and he still yells. Mr. KK downloaded this app that measures how loud is too loud to talk with a cute little emoji that makes a sad face when you talk too loudly that the Little Mister immediately assumed was a game and tried to make the little dial go off the charts. Why do kids talk so damn loudly??

He threatens us. But not well. “If you don’t let me have a snack, you can’t play Paw Patrol with me.” Um….ok?

Everything is NO. It doesn’t matter the question, or what we say to him, his answer is no every single time, and often before we finish. “Let’s wash our hands for dinner.” NO. “Can you put your shoes on?” NO. Sometimes I try and trick him…ask him a bunch of questions in a row, then throw in a “Do you want a snack?” and he’ll say NO and then catch himself. Little bugger.

Five is a hard age. He wants to be a big boy, but he still has little boy tendencies. Which I’m totally okay with, because I want him to be little forever. Which I know is ridiculous, but the thought of a teenager who doesn’t want anything to do with me scares the crap out of me. We had one night last week where the Little Mister was crying for Daddy and NOT Mommy, and my entire night deflated. But he always wants me! Why doesn’t he want me?! I’m crazy, I know.

I just want him to grow up happy and healthy and to be a good human.

Who doesn’t talk so loudly.

Christmas

A “vintage” Christmas Trees tradition.

Last year I posted about the vintage Christmas trees, and how I have a few in my family. I imagine my grandmother and Mr. KK’s grandmother didn’t realize that their silly hobby would result in holiday tchotchkes that were worth hundreds of dollars.

Tonight, I went to a vintage Christmas tree painting class so that I could create my very own addition to the ceramic family holiday trees. I’m not artist, but it was fun hanging out with friends and – let’s be honest – drinking wine and eating cheese while we painted.

There were 2 sizes of trees, and I chose the smaller size not wanting to commit to a larger tree with my painting skills such a wildcard.

You can’t have a successful paint night without a delectable BYO snack:

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Here’s a little insider secret: there’s this brown glaze-type paint that makes your tree look like this:

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But when you fire it, it turns into this:

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(note: this is a sample tree, not MY masterpiece)

I decorated the base to feel Christmas-y and think it came out pretty good!

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(that’s some free-hand holly, folks!)

When I walked in the door tonight Mr KK asked me where my tree was. I let him know that it needs to be fired and in a week he could seem my masperpiece!

Me, hard at work painting:

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Excited to see this all fired up and finished, and holding a prime spot in our decorating in our house with its vintage sister trees!

Amazon, Christmas

This is when me and Amazon Prime become BFFs

First off, can I just call out that today is Day 19 of NaBloPoMo and I have posted every day for the last 19 days and Mr. KK hasn’t divorced me yet. NaBloPoMo can be a pretty stressful time in the KK household (especially when it’s 10pm and I haven’t written a post yet, like tonight…) This year, however, has gone rather smoothly with only 11 days left.

A few days ago, I wrote about ordering groceries online for the very first time, against every fiber of my being. Not because I’m not a fan of online shopping, but because I’m a control freak when it comes to picking out my own food.

In case you were wondering, everything turned out fine. The delivery guy insisted on bringing the groceries IN since it was my first delivery, which made Rocco go nuts, but everything was accounted for and the fruit and veggies I did order were fine. And even though I only ordered 4 bananas they sent a bunch of like 9, so Mr. KK is getting his fill of potassium.

I’m actually a frequent online shopper, for everything from clothing to furniture, to books to household items. You name it, I’ve likely ordered it online because it was easier, faster and cheaper. And there’s no better online shopping companion than my friend Amazon Prime.

Because while me and Amazon Prime (AP for short) are good friends throughout the whole year, it’s during the holidays that our true BFF status shines through.

It starts off slow, but then our relationship blossoms quickly. My BFF Amazon starts doing little things like:

  • sending me 2-4 emails a day to see how I’m doing
  • always thinking about me, showing me stuff they think I would like
  • checking in to see how our time together was, asking what they could have done better
  • shows up at my door step bearing gifts

And it’s not uncommon, for Amazon’s daily ‘gifts’ to look something like this:

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That’s 6 packages right there, folks. In one day. Broken up over 3 different deliveries. All Christmas gifts for Little Mister (and one hilarious item for Mr. KK)

And this isn’t a fluke. I’m so enamored by my BFF during the holidays, that I’ll check in with them multiple times a day. Getting their opinions on a certain items. And I hate to admit how many times I’m swayed by the temptress knows at Amazon Prime. Not only do they have everything I need, they also have everything I never knew I always wanted (but didn’t need).

My mother-in-law likes to say that you can find everything on Amazon, even a dead body. And while I hope that’s not true, my BFF AP does seem to be taking over the world.

They recently opening a distribution center in my town, and the delivery time is now like 23 minutes or something. (obviously, I jest)

If it wasn’t for online shopping – and Amazon in particular – I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t survive the holidays. They are my lifeline, and they make life so much better.

Do I care that Amazon Prime is fickle, and being super nice to about 8 billion other people this holiday season? NOPE.

Does it bother me that they are showing me an item that I would like and then they are turning around and showing the same item to Karen in the PTA? NOPE.

I know what me and Amazon Prime have going on is special, and that’s all that matters.

Christmas, Decorating

Hurry it up, Thanksgiving. I’m ready for Christmas.

If you’re like me, in the last few weeks you’ve been wondering where the hell this year went. I could swear it was just 100 degrees out and we were sweating.

Now the trees are bare, we build a fire every night, and the holidays are knocking on my door.

And, to make things even MORE fun, this year there are only 27 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

That’s only 3 weekends to prepare for Christmas: tree getting, house decorating, present buying, holiday meal planning. How is a girl supposed to get everything done and have time for a holiday manicure?

And while I like Thanksgiving – we host every year which is fun, though I could do without the turkey – I’d jump right into full-blown Christmas mode and trade my turkeys for trees if I didn’t think my Thanksgiving guests would be confused by the holiday mash-up.

My holiday worlds are colliding; on Sunday I started my Christmas shopping and made a Thanksgiving menu in the same afternoon. The season says pumpkin but my heart says gingerbread.

Because of how late Thanksgiving is this year, that long weekend is going to be jam-packed with all things Christmas (sorry, Thanksgiving; you’ll still get your one day).

So here’s the game plan on the big holiday switcheroo:

Thursday, November 28th: Thanksgiving! Turkey! Pumpkins! Gourds!

Friday, November 29th (aka: Black Friday): SEE YA, Thanksgiving! All Thanksgiving decor gets packed up, Christmas decor gets brought upstairs and the Christmas trees (yes, trees plural) are purchased!

Last year’s decor prep:

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There are about 20 holiday bins in our basement. When putting it all away last year, I tried to label everything to make it easier on myself this year:

Saturday, November 30th: decorate, decorate, decorate!

Last year I was pretty proud of my red tractor sideboard:

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And the mantel:

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Sunday, December 1st-24th: FULL BLOWN CHRISTMAS MODE. Shopping. More shopping. Planning. Santa visit. Wrapping. Hosting. Last-minute shopping. More hosting.

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be in the garage shame-listening to Christmas songs on Sirius in the car.

 

 

Breakfast, cooking

I’m OBSESSED with Starbuck Sous Vide Egg Bites.

It’s hard to find a quick on-the-go breakfast that’s not a 500 calorie piece of coffee cake or a heavy carb-loaded bagel. And while I love me a piece of cinnamon coffee cake, I just can’t eat it for breakfast and deal with that calorie guilt all day long.

About a month ago I was at a conference in Boston, and there was a Starbucks in the hotel lobby. On a whim I ordered the Ham & Cheddar Sous Vide Egg Bites. At only 250 calories – and filled with protein – they seemed like a good breakfast option (besides the $4.50 price tag).

As with all fast food breakfasts, my expectations were pretty low. Once a year I treat myself to a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin and Hash browns (or like, 3 hash browns; those things are addictive), so that’s where the bar was set.

The were round and spongy, warm from the quick zap in whatever oven Starbucks hides behind the counter.

And they were…

DELICIOUS.

They were creamy and firm at the same time, with bits of ham and cheese inside. I was torn between taking small bites and trying to savor them, and scarfing them down because they were so tasty.

After that one breakfast, I was hooked.

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I came home and told Mr. KK about them. “They are AMAZING!” I gushed. “SO SO SO good!” He gave me a look that told me he thought I was crazy, and that nothing from Starbucks aside from coffee could taste that good.

A few mornings later, Mr. KK came home from his morning gym class – which was right next to Starbucks – with iced coffees and a set of the sous vide egg bites. “I had to see what all the hype was about,” he said, picking one up and devouring half of it in one bite.

How could he eat it so fast? Didn’t he know he needed to make it last because they were so delicious. He pushed the other egg bite towards me. I ate it with a fork and in about 17 bites. And if I’m being honest, I was a little disappointed that I had to share ONE order of egg bites with him, only giving me a single egg bite.

“Well?” I asked him.

“They’re pretty good,” he said. “But this is like a one-time thing; they’re expensive.” And then he left the kitchen to go shower, acting like his world was not just changed by a breakfast item.

And I hate to admit it, but Mr. KK is right: they are a sometimes breakfast treat at almost $5 a pop.

Of course I wasn’t the only one obsessed with these things. A quick Google search produced results of other egg bite lovers, as well a slew of copycat recipes to recreate them at home.

Why not? I thought. What’s the worst that could happen, I don’t like them?

I choose this recipe because I was copy catting the sous vide egg bites without using my sous vide (which felt like a lot of work). This recipe used the Instant Pot. And I bought this egg mold to make them.

Recipe for copycat Starbucks Sous Vide Egg Bites

Ingredients

  • 4 each eggs
  • 1/2 cup cheese of your choice grated
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt

**I also diced up some ham steak for mine.

Instructions

  • Prepare the molds with non-stick spray. (I use canola or olive oil spray).
  • Add one cup of water in the Instant Pot and place the trivet inside.
  • In a blender, add the eggs, cheese, cottage cheese and pinch of salt. Blend until smooth (about 30 seconds). NOTE: Once you have blended the egg mixture, you can add some green vegetable leaves such as spinach or basil at this time, and give it a quick pulse–but be prepared for green color!
  • If using fresh spinach, heat about 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a non-stick skillet and add a heaping bag of spinach. Allow to wilt and cook down. Remove from heat, allow to cool and squeeze out excess water; rough chop.
  • OPTIONAL: In each mold, place whatever ingredients you want to add such as chopped spinach, green onion chopped up ham, green chiles etc.
  • Fill each mold with the egg mixture leave just a bit of room for expansion. Cover the mold with foil or with an 8″ parchment paper (for cakes).
  • Place the mold on top of the trivet.  If using two molds (double the recipe, of course) place the second one on top, but adjust so that the wells are aligned exactly with the mold below (to allow for expansion).
  • Check the Instant Pot lid that your gasket is in place, propertly. Close and lock the lid. Press STEAM for 10 minutes.
  • Allow the pressure to release naturally (about 10 minutes). Release any remaining pressure, and remove the lid. The egg bites will be tall and fluffy. Allow them to deflate (about 30 seconds).
  • Carefully remove the molds, wearing heat-protective gloves. Allow the egg bites to cool for a few minutes.  The easiest way to remove these is to place a wire rack on top, and flip over. If the molds were prepared properly, they should pop right out.
  • Store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to one week.

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(Let’s be real, these look nothing like the Starbucks ones).

The author of this recipe got really fully egg bites that rose over the top of the mold. Mine did not look like that. Mine were more like deflated, sad egg flats.

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Mr. KK – who was hopeful that I would fall in love with these egg bites and never again purchase them at their high price tag – popped one in his mouth and exclaimed, “These are delicious! They taste just like Starbucks!”

While I appreciate his enthusiasm for my cooking, I have to disagree.

Were they good? I guess? (I would call them “edible” vs “good”.)

Did they taste like the Starbucks ones? Not at all.

Were they cheaper? That’s a big yes.

Will I still eat the knock-off eggs? Yes.

Will I still sneak the real deal egg bites when I can? Hell to the yes.