Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Klutzy Kate - Strikes Again!

Every so often I have a moment of sheer klutziness. This can happen anytime, anywhere, without warning.

The worst moment of klutziness ever was when I was running sprints at Crossfit and I slid on the gravel - lost all control, had a huge patch of road rash, blood and gravel on my right leg. Luckily they had a first aid kit, so I was able to patch myself up, but I was done for that day and about a week after that.

The next time I remember I was in Door County. I was with Dave, it was our last day, so we decided to go swimming. The water was freezing and after wading out to about stomach height, I knew I couldn't go much further, so I stopped. As we were walking back to shore, my foot sank in a sandpit and I went all the way under. At least that time the water caught me, but boy was it COLD! Let's just say I was excited to get back to our towels after that.

Then this past Wednesday was my most recent klutz event. I was walking to the train when I noticed a very pretty gray and white cat sunbathing on my neighbors' porch. Being the animal lover that I am, I decided it would be a good idea to try and communicate with it. I let out some purrs when all of a sudden my shoe hit a bump in the sidewalk, and I went down like a sack of potatoes. I fell forward pretty hard and saw blackness for about a second or two. When I came to, my bag had flown down the sidewalk (lucky for me it was closed, so I didn't lose anything out of it), my left palm was scratched and bleeding, my right knee was bloody, and my left big toe was cut. However, I picked myself up and continued on. As soon as I arrived at Open Books I made a beeline for the bathroom to clean up, which worked out well, since I didn't scare any of the elementary school kids I was helping out.

Then the next morning when I woke up, my left shoulder really hurt and I had trouble moving it. So, I iced it for four hours and stretched it out good. Now, I'm feeling back to normal thank goodness, but I really need to be more careful and stop hurting myself so much!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Just Wanted To Share Some Awesome News From My Inbox.

goodreads header
On behalf of the Goodreads team, I want to say thank you. You’re in the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! Your many thoughtful book reviews help make us a vibrant place for book lovers.
And our community has been growing! We now number more than 20 million members on Goodreads.
Every day readers from all over the world are connecting over a love of books. And our 25 million reviews – including yours – are a big part of that conversation.
Thank you for your support of Goodreads, and keep reading! I’m looking forward to seeing what you think of your next book!
Share the news with your friends that you're in the top 1% of Goodreads reviewers!

I cannot lie, I got a bit excited when I saw this in my inbox this morning. Hope your week is going well and remember to dream big, as you never know when interesting news just might pop up, make all the work you've already put in seem all the more worth while, and encourage you to keep living your dream!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pump Up The Gas Grill!

Summer is such a fun time to be outside cooking and I've done a lot of that lately, so I just wanted to share with you two of my most favorite recipes. Also, this blog gets a lot more interesting if you put on 2 Skinee J's BBQ song from YouTube on repeat, just saying and don't forget to enjoy!

Cherry Walnut Chicken Breasts With Red, Orange and Yellow Peppers

1 Package of chicken breasts

Make the dressing, which is the following:

2 Tablespoons of Roasted Walnut Oil*
1/8 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon Dijon mustard
8 Tablespoons of Cherry Balsamic Vinegar*
Fresh Ground Pepper for taste

Stir all ingredients in a clean bowl or shake in a covered jar

*All Oils and Vinegars I used in this recipe come from and the store can be found in Fish Creek, WI.

Pour dressing over chicken breasts in a clean bowl and make sure dressing covers chicken thoroughly.

Cover bowl with aluminum foil and marinate in fridge for 4 hours or longer.

Cut red, orange and yellow peppers into thin strips.

Put marinated chicken and all the excess dressing in a foil packet for grilling or a in a pan for boiling. If boiling on stove add 1 cup of water for extra flavor.

Cook chicken for 10 minutes on each side or until cooked through all the way.

Place peppers and a teaspoon of coconut oil in a foil packet for grilling or in a pan for sauteing.

Cook for 5-10 minutes or until texture is slightly crispy.

Place cooked chicken and peppers on plate and enjoy eating this scrumptious meal.

Gluten Free Mediterranean Macaroni Salad

1 Package of Brown Rice Pasta

Boil 4 quarts of water, add a pinch of salt, and cook for 7-10 minutes until texture is right.

Make the dressing, which is the following:

2 Tablespoons of Penzeys Greek Seasoning which can be found online here:
2 Tablespoons water

Let this stand for 5 minutes and then add:

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup salad oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar

Stir all of this in a separate bowl or shake together in a covered jar.

Pour over pasta once it's finished cooking and stir together.

Dice 1 green and 1 red pepper

Add Kalamata olives, feta cheese and stir together in a big bowl.

Then cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate.

Make sure to eat this dish with in a week while it's fresh. Great for sharing with friends and family as well.

So, get cooking tonight and let me know if you like either of the recipes. I will be pumping up the gas grill to get the flavor jumping as well. Have a great week and beat the heat by drinking a lot of...water! Yeah!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

No Sleep In Berwyn

I can safely say that this year I am done with fireworks.

First, there was the Blackhawks win, which I thought was very cool, until everyone started shooting off fireworks. Then there were the weeks leading up to 4th of July where every single night someone or a group of someones would shoot rockets or light fire crackers in our ally way and scare the heck out of me. Again, I don't mind, I remember being a kid and doing that kind of stuff as well, but night after night, come on. I'm getting too old for this. I need my eight hours of sleep to function properly.

After that came the actual 4th of July holiday, which from 4pm to at least midnight and probably later (I lost track of time), there were fireworks going off constantly. I saw rockets, roman candles, and even a glitterator or two. We even went to Oak Park and saw the professional fireworks there, which I have to admit were pretty awesome. Then when we came home we did our sparklers and morning glories in our backyard with wine. I had a lot of fun with it as well, and if my grandfather on my mom's side was still alive, he'd be 100 years old this July 4th, so we celebrated in his honor.

Now, it's almost a week later, and still every now and then I hear a big boom in the ally way around 11 or midnight. I'm tired of fireworks, aren't you?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

School's Out For Summer, But It's Still Important For Children To Read

Having children read over the summer is extermely important. Did you know that children who do not read during summer vacation can lose up to three months of reading progress? The reasearch is clear that this loss has cumulative, long-term effects. Fostering strong habits with reading is essential to closing achievement gaps, both in school and throughout life. Below are some tips to prevent summer reading loss:
  • Model being a reader. One of the best ways for children of any age to become readers themselves is to see their parents and other family members reading daily. Books, magazines, newspapers - it doesn't matter, just set a good reading example.
  • Reserve a specific time each day to read to your child and to have your child read independently. We make time each day and schedule events that are important to us. Reading must be one of them, as it's an investment in children's futures. If necessary, limit TV viewing, video gaming, and computer time in order to fit reading into your child's day, everyday.
  • Help children get books and keep them motivated to read. Parents, day care providers, and any adult supervising children this summer can make reading fun by taking field trips to your local library at least once a week. Librarians can help pick out age appropriate books for everyone in your crew, and I know that a lot of libraries throughout the Chicago-land area have great summer reading programs for children of all ages which include goal setting, rewards, and special events.
  • Other creative resources to keep children reading this summer include:,
If I left out anything that you think would be a valuable resource to add, please let me know. Otherwise, have a very safe and happy 4th of July with family and friends! Don't forget to exercise your body as well as your mind this summer.