In the Kathmandu airport - on our way to the most dangerous airport in the world at Lukla, Nepal. Flights had been delayed for 3 days due to bad weather and hundreds of trekkers were ready to hit the trail. This photo was taken moments after we had learned the flight just before ours had crashed in Lukla and the plane of was being cleared from the runway before they'd let us board our own twin otter and head that way.
In the past three weeks we flew to the opposite side of the globe, trekked over 100 miles, and up to 18,200 ft. high in the Himalayas. We came a long, long way and saw a lot of amazing things. We had our breath taken away - quite literally at times. We're home now and I will be posting about our adventure over the next few weeks. I missed you all terribly and can't wait to see what you all have been up to as well.
About a million years ago I mentioned helping out a friend with a photo shoot (shot by the very talented Rex Barrett). Basically, I helped out with the set and told the girls they look fierce while standing by the photographer. I was kind of just along for the ride while everyone else did the real work of modeling and shooting.
This shoot was put together to help promote the up-and-coming area of 23rd Street in OKC. Now dubbed Trendy Third this area is full of (gorgeous!) young women who own their own businesses. I've become friends with a few of these creative ladies and am absolutely energized by their courage and creativity.
If you're a local save the date - a Trendy Third block party will be held on Saturday, November 13 from 7-10pm (at 23rd and Shartel). There will be cupcakes, live music, shopping and holiday cheer. I'll be there so if you read this you've already got a friend going too. Make sure you say hi!
I was getting vaccination shots for Everest when I got this almost frantic call from my dad to meet him at the optometrist downtown and help him pick out some glasses. And so, I picked out some glasses and have been insanely jealous of them ever since. They give my dad's style just that little extra kick. Not that my dad's personal style needs a whole lot of help. As you can see, he totally rocks that jumper.
It took me a long time to embrace imperfections. In life, in my home, in my wardrobe... Even though I made a very conscious decision to buy an old home that needed some work and love I still felt taunted by new builds with crackless walls and 90º angles. I couldn't help but feel a twinge of jealousy when I go into spaces that have window sills that don't give birth to dirt every hour on the hour.
And then I see photos like this and find myself fixated on the back of the couch. It's like that (now trite) American Beauty moment with the bag floating around in the air. It really is beautiful. Perfectly imperfect.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that everything surrounding it is perfectly perfect - though, we can't see the window sills, now can we?
Image credit: Rebecca Du Pont De Bie and Caroline Cobbold of London's Cobbold Du Pont Interiors. via Desire to Inspire
Just as the weather began to turn cool I threw this outfit on to go pick up some invitations from the printer and grab some half-and-half from the grocery store. When I was checking out said half-and-half the clerk said "I don't know if you tried really hard to put that outfit together but you look really cute." I said "thanks" and blushed a little but what I wanted to tell her I'd been putting this outfit together my whole life. That in the 5th grade I would wear zip up Airforce flight suits (found at the Goodwill) to school. Like, on a random Tuesday. And that in middle school I wanted to be Eddie Vedder or Kurt Cobain (their female counterparts were not accessible, too much effort and I was still years away from puberty). I would wear ratty old cardigans and one plaid around my waist with another up top. Plaid on plaid action - which actually inspired this scarf / plaid combo - an outfit I wore in the 7th grade. I was voted most non-conformist in 6th, 7th and 9th grade. They did away with it in the 8th because kids didn't know what "non-conformist" meant and gave me an even harder time about my knee high argyle socks and camouflage velcro shoes. I think I thrived on freaking my peers out - I almost demanded a reaction. I would like to think that, to them, I was challenging what it meant to get dressed in the morning.
In the 9th grade I graduated to Junior High where kids thought my polyester suits and homemade bell bottoms were rad "but they could never pull it off". Again, I was voted most non-conformist and when my teacher (who always complimented my outfit choices) told me she was counting ballots a huge number of them went to "Kathleen Turner" (my maiden name was Thomas) and she assumed they meant me. They did.
The 28-year-old me is high-fiving 12-year-old Kathleen when I get compliments on my outfits. We showed them. Even though I feel like I've toned it down (or creativity in fashion has become more mainstream) I still get "I could never pull it off" comments. Maybe my highschool superlative is more about the attitude - the way I wear the clothes and not how the articles of clothing wear me. And that's taken years and years of practice.
Wool coat - Urban Outfitters
Scarf - Urban Outfitters
Plaid - JCPenney's, mens section
Tee - Urban Outfitters
Jeans - BDG, Urban Outfitters (gah, I'm like the poster child for UO here)
Boots - Frye
Gloves - Target
I've already mentioned how being a freelance designer doesn't mean I'm drawing puppies and rainbows all day long. There are a few more components that make up my job - like project management and billing/financials that take up quite a bit of time. I want to share with you guys how I stay on top of this stuff.
This includes everything from managing my work flow, establishing timelines/deadlines for myself and my clients, and juggling multiple projects at the same time. While I still utilize old school post-it notes and sketchbooks full of lists, I also use a few other tools to help keep me organized:
• Teux Deux - This super simple web and iPhone app streamlines your to-do list and keeps your desk and monitor from becoming cluttered with a million post-its.
• Google Calendar - I keep all of my business and social obligations scheduled in my Google calendar and share it with Jeremy - otherwise, it's easy to double-book.
• Gmail - I'm not the best at keeping my inbox immaculate but I do star emails that need my attention and label emails to be archived.
• Folder Organization - On my computer I keep my work organized in 3 different folders: Complete, Estimating and In Progress. It's simple but helps me picture my overall work flow on days when things become overwhelming.
• iPhone - I always insisted on keeping my computer as my computer and my phone as my phone but all of the tools I use (online) to keep myself organized also synch up to my iPhone. So my iPhone will actually TELL me that I have a meeting in 10 minutes. Or if I need to jot down a quick to-do on the road I can just plug it into my Teux Deux list on my phone.
For some reason, I always thought this would be no big deal to keep track of. It's just money in and money out. Unfortunately, it's not that simple. I'm still a little confused about taxes, social security and write-offs but I'm doing the best I can to capture all the information as accurately as possible. That way I can just hire an accountant (or get Jeremy) to figure out the big picture for me.
• Freshbooks: When I first started freelancing Jeremy and I played around with Bento and a Google spreadsheet to help me keep track of my finances but it wasn't streamlined enough and I wasn't in the mood to reinvent the wheel when it comes to bookkeeping. So I finally gave in and bought a monthly subscription to Freshbooks. It's really easy and intuitive. Now, if only it would do my quarterly taxes for me.
Simple living has been top of mind for the past couple years. I love the concept of living a stuff-free spartan life but I also love my stuff. And when I became close with Liz, a minimalist with stuff, I became inspired. Liz is a regular around here - at times we even joked about renaming the blog Kathleen & Liz, Fabulous Friends Great Taste. You guys seem to like her too, so while guest posts aren't a thing I typically do around these parts I wanted Liz to share her philosophy on being a minimalist of sorts.
P.S. I'm only featuring images of her newest place in Durham, NC. Because I want to show you how she can even make a rental beautiful. But for more pictures please visit her Flickr.
P.P.S. I'm leaving in the parts where she makes notes to me, because I love it.
“If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” - William Morris
Some time in the last year or two I got the distinct reputation of being a "minimalist." Someone who could throw away her yearbooks without a second thought, and always seemed to have a bag of clothes that needed to be driven to Goodwill. Whenever Kathleen posts pictures of my home (thanks for the free fame, ladyfriend!), she always gets comments about how spartan it appears, which crack me up, because I have crap like everyone else. Stuff. And you know what? I love it. I. Love. Stuff.
It comes down to this, though: quality, over quantity. I simply only want to surround myself with stuff that I think is awesome. Also, cleaning/organizing is my knee-jerk response to any sort of anxiety or stress, so it's easy to throw a thing away when really you're actually trying to avoid conflict or figure out some Big Life Thing.
Plus, I've moved every year for the last 4 or 5 years, and nothing will make you re-evaluate what's important more brutally than having to move it from home to home. Those infamous yearbooks? Were all in a box that I had packed them into when I graduated from college. Three and a half years ago. I hadn't even looked at them, or thought about them, in years. And for a while, I struggled with getting rid of them, because I love looking at my parent's yearbooks, and how will my future children develop emotionally without seeing awkward pictures of me with braces?! But it came down to the fact that I measure value differently. Like homeboy's quote up there, which sums up my feelings on the subject far more articulately than I can, because I use words like homeboy to describe one of the forefathers of the Arts and Crafts movement.
It's a process, though. It took a few rounds before I worked up the yearbooks. It's easier to start with clothes you've owned for years but only worn once because they fit you weird. Why would you own clothes that you don't wear?! What?! Why would you want a wardrobe filled with things that make you feel anything less than awesome? (Also, please feel free to substitute in another, less juvenile adjective whenever I use the word "awesome." It's my go-to, but I promise I only keep it around because I know it to be useful and believe it to be beautiful. <-- LESSON)
You just have to keep asking yourself what makes something worth keeping, and let go of anything that doesn't make your heart sing with it's awesomeness. For me, a lot of my stuff just didn't live up to the standards I decided on. So I recycled/donated/trashed it. And didn't look back. Which is the other benefit of getting rid of crap- you realize what little value it ever held, and you start to apply the Awesome Test (yeah, that's what I call it) to other areas of your life. Priorities, friends, life goals. Or at least I did. Or at least, I hope I am. Ask my hopefully emotionally-developed children in fifty years.
They'll probably be packrats.
My friend Erin runs a little shop called Pippin + Pearl. Every week I visit her to split a bottle of wine and share cupcakes and usually always end up wanting to purchase all of her new creations. And sometimes I do. I picked up this charm necklace with a vintage button and little flag - I was drawn to the unexpected combination of the two.
I have always been impressed with Jeremy's sense of style. He's the first guy I ever saw in real life wear a deep-V - before it became a standard in every frat boy's closet. He doesn't orchestrate outfits and is by no means on the up-and-up when it comes to fashion or trends but he manages to be effortlessly stylish in his own clueless boy kind of way. He's not afraid to wear black and brown together while rocking some oversized lady sunglasses.
Shirt - Perry Ellis
Pants - Reunion (Ross)
Shoes - Ben Sherman
Tie - Ben Sherman
Watch - Nooka
Sunglasses - Urban Outfitters ($5 sale)
I posted a while back about some fabric remnants I found at a local store that I wanted to fashion into throw pillows. Well, I finally did just that. Actually, my mom did just that. Thanks, mom. While I used to favor minimal lines, I'm kind of enjoying the eclectic cozy mess my couch is turning into.
Oh, and remember the white couch? I know, I never got it. The thing is every week we have friends over and all of us (usually 5-6) can all lounge comfortably on this couch. And we can accidentally spill red wine on it and it's no big deal. The cats are tearing this couch apart, at the corners - but again, I kind of secretly like that too. Our home isn't out of a catalog and nothing is perfect. ::sigh:: But I do love that white couch.
This is a rarely seen corner of our living room that I thought I'd share.
It was a couple years ago when Agyness Deyn first caught my eye (I think it was a Burberry ad) and then she was EVERYWHERE. And of course, I developed a huge girl crush on her. It's not just the short hair I'm attracted to but the attitude behind it. Of course, having the face of a model can't hurt, either.
We've discussed our girl crushes before - but I want to know if you have any model girl-crushes?
Image found via Flavorwire.
Last month I mentioned being shocked at my ability to put a nice meal together. To be able to navigate a recipe and not feel like I'm reading a foreign language makes me feel competent. I also love feeling secure enough in my own abilities to make substitutions or small changes to a recipe when years ago I thought the world would end if I deviated from the ingredient list.
Now, I get excited to create meals on the fly. To take stock of the veggies in my fridge and throw something together without a recipe at all. It took a while to give myself permission to do such thing. To have the confidence it takes to know that it probably won't end in disaster. Though, I've certainly had my fair share of cooking snafus that end with Jeremy politely taking bites of food while I push mine around on my plate.
One of my favorite "we don't have anything to eat" meals to make is stuffed red peppers. Here I sauteed onion, garlic, squash and zucchini with a little olive oil and some Indian spices. I stuffed the roasted red pepper with the veggie mix and baked for about 10 minutes. I topped them with a little greek yogurt and toasted pecans. I served with an Israeli couscous cooked with cinnamon, raisins and toasted pine nuts.
I used to shun black and white but lately I can't get enough of it. The older I get the more muted my wardrobe gets yet I still tend to shock people (in a good way) with the pieces I wear. Like these shiny black leggings. I bought these last season at Target (they're quick on the trends, I tell you) and when I'd wear them to work the president of the company always commented on how I looked like I was going to kick his ass.
I hope if there ever is some sort of zombie apocalypse I'm wearing an outfit like this. I think I really would embrace the end of the world and kick more ass and survive a little longer if I was properly outfitted like a bad ass. Or I'd just develop a wicked yeast infection on Day 2, feel sorry for myself and let a zombie eat my brain.
Shirt - Urban outfitters
Cardigan - Ross
Boots - Frye
Hat - Urban? Target? Forever 21? Somewhere inexpensive
Jewelry - Vintage from grandma
Sunglasses - Urban outfitters ($5 sale)
Bra - Pushup from Victoria's Secret (because I know you guys are going to ask)
a. How cool is this teepee tent? I love it. But I think I'd rather have a real teepee with layered kilim rugs and ikat pillows covering the floors. It's a fantasy I've been obsessing over for a while now.
b. When we went to the Pacific NW this summer for a friend's wedding we stayed, in a tent, on the land behind the bed and breakfast where the ceremony was held. We were setting up our big ol' Walmart brand, 4-person tent with our big ol' air mattress and became self-conscious when everyone around us was in a 1-person super-lite REI tent or simply in a sleeping bag on the grass. But these are people who kayak and climb mountains for a living. So I didn't feel too bad for long. I wonder what they would've thought of us had we set up a teepee tent?
Last month when we were in the Pacific Northwest for a friend's wedding we visited Powell's Bookstore. It was overwhelmingly huge. I could've spent hours and a life's fortune in there. So when I spotted an Everest Base Camp map I checked out and called it a day. My wanderlust has been accompanied by an obsession with maps and globes.
It's almost impossible to imagine what this trek is going to be like. My mind keeps trying to fill the blanks with whatever it can. Like a convoluted dream I keep jumping from scenario to scenario.
Needless to say, I can't wait to share this adventure with you guys.
I haven't been shopping as much as usual these days. If I wanted to get deep about it I'd say I've filled some sort of void with love and adventure and crave a simple life. Those things are true but I still adore fashion and clothes - but I made a resolution a few years ago to buy quality over quantity.
That rule especially applies to boots - and this is an area I'm willing to splurge in. After investing in two pairs of Frye boots I'm hooked. I want boots that are made to last forever. I love me some quality boots and now that Fall is upon us I've got some serious boot lust.
What are your shopping splurges? What are you willing to spend big money on?
Boots above found via Free People - where you can spend thousands to look like a dirty hippy.
For those of you who are new around these parts let me introduce you to Donny Vomit.
Donny Vomit and his trusty nail and hammer are staples of the Coney Island Sideshow By The Seashore, but this mustached modern vagabond has known many a stage, from west coast to east, from homegrown state fairs to burlesque affairs, this fellows' best friend is the gasp of a crowd, and his only foe is a head cold. 'Cause only the nose knows how far he can go, so settle in folks, and lets see where it takes us.
Donny also happens to be my brother. Which means, I get to do all of his design work. And lately, I've been busting my booty doing just that.
First thing's first. I updated his website. I wanted to design something super modular and easily updated through a solid content management system. With a lot of coding and development help from my friends at Studio FJ I was able to do just that.
From there Donny asked me if I could design a logo that is script writing but looks like a moustache. It sounds easy enough, but it took some time (time that I don't have much of) and I'm not 100% happy with the outcome. I don't think it's as iconic as the solid moustache I've designed for him in the past.
Then we started brainstorming some different merchandise ideas that he can sell while he's on tour with the Pretty Things Peepshow. I thought it would be really cool if he sold some 9" nails with an official Donny Vomit tag authenticating it. Donny went into a local hardware store asking where he can find some of these huge nails. They told him to go to a church and pull them off the cross. Nevertheless, these may not make it on tour with him due to safety hazards. We don't need untrained folks sticking nails in their heads.
From there we started thinking of different T-shirt ideas. He went with the one that has the hammer, nail and moustache. P.S. Donny has "A Hard Way to Make an Easy Living" tattooed on his ribs.
And finally, Donny needed a solid business card. I wanted to make it look like a super simple retro calling card.
We're finalizing a few other things - like a Donny Vomit Moustache Disguise kit that will be super fun.
If you want to get your hands on any of this merchandise you'll have to see Donny on tour in a town near you.
You know that feeling when you're in grade school and you see your teacher in the grocery store? That slightly giddy, slightly uncomfortable feeling? I mean, you know your teacher doesn't live at school but she actually lives in the real world with the rest of us?
That's how I felt on Sunday when we went to a farm that had chickens. Chickens that lived in a bus. Slightly giddy and slightly uncomfortable. It was almost a scene from an end-of-the-world movie where all structures have been abandoned and taken over by these survivor chickens that serve as food for the hot badass (Milla Jovovich comes to mind) that has avoided being eaten by a zombie.
Are you wondering what we were doing on a farm with a bus full of chickens? We were invited by a local foodie friend to join a chowdown on a farm about an hour's drive away. A very local lunch was being served, buffet style on the farmhouse porch, as we arrived (a little late due to a scheduling mishap on my part). We paid our $20 and were asked if we brought our plates and utensils. Uhhh... No. We did not. And this is where I internally start to hate myself for being so unprepared (and late). Fortunately, we had some friends with us that happened to have extra plates (for unprepared jerks like us). We filled our plates-borrowed-from-friends with delicious local food and sat on the lawn to eat and share stories. After we were done eating a big dog came and licked our plates-borrowed-from-friends clean and we took a tour of the farm full of goats, chickens and one llama. And not one person didn't smile when we happened across that surreal bus full of chickens. And I can't help but wonder if I was the only one dreaming up an end of the world zombie scenario...
I think I need some chickens.
A new friend of mine owns a sweet vintage boutique called Mister Rabbit. It's in a small historical bungalow with a kitchen and a claw foot tub filled with vintage pillows. Basically, my dream office. I've taken to bringing a bottle of wine to the shop towards closing time on Fridays. Usually, three of us girls will split the bottle (or two) and unwind from the week while saying hello to the weekend.
And you know when you drink even just a little that your will power becomes zero? Or is that just me? Well, when that happens in a store full of vintage clothes and hand crafted goods I start shopping. Between saucy stories and scandalous tales I'm seeing if I can squeeze my feet into size 7.5 knee-high lace up hippie boots (I'm a size 8).
And when I saw this dress hanging on the wall the power of persuasion was just too much and I had to have it. While I don't shop too terribly much anymore supporting local and buying vintage is the way to go.
Dress: Zip & Dash by Sears (Vintage)
Shoes: Gold T-straps from Urban Outfitters
Pearls: Costume vintage from Grandma
Gold Rose Necklace: Comstume vintage from Estate sale
Bracelets: Assortment, Forever 21
During month 3 I was feeling insecure and a little shaken up about my new freelance life. And some of that carried over into Month 4 - despite how much really great work I've had coming in. Every time I get a job I can't help but wonder where the next one will come from. And the one after that. I couldn't seem to shake these insecurities no matter how hard I tried - and they started to find their way into my body, the upcoming Everest adventure and into the evenings and weekends. Then I find myself stressed out about being stressed out - this was not part of the dream. My confidence is still there - it's just hiding out in the shadows - waiting for me to get over this scardey cat bullshit. All of that said, it has been one of the busiest months yet. I've got lots of projects in the works and a few completed that I can't wait to show you.
On a more positive note, I've had to make quite an adjustment from ad agency life to home-office-freelance-life and now I'm transitioning yet again and finding new energy in my community. I've made lots of new friends that work in a variety of creative fields - and they're all young entrepreneurs that are in the same boat as me. They fire me up and get me excited about my choice to give it a go on my own. So even when I get anxious about what's next I get more excited the things I'm going to do. The things I'm going to make.
The Corrections won as the book to read during our two day long commute to the other side of the world. The Stand came in at a close second. And of course, I need a fresh moleskine for some good old fashioned journaling.
My friend, Erin, who used to be an air force badass let me borrow her ammo bag which fits my camera perfectly. However, maybe I might sew a temporary Canadian or Swiss patch over the US stamp. I don't want anyone confusing me for a badass with ammo. Not that Canadians aren't badasses - but you know. Neutrality. Wars. Whatnot. Sidenote: people keep on asking me if I'm going to take a lot of pictures. The answer is yes. Tons.
This will be the first time I've ever traveled with a knife. Another sidenote - I had one woman at the gym ask me if I was going to take a pistol. Uhm, see my note above about not being a badass. Or crazy.
Everest is just moments away and I feel like time is running out to make sure we've got everything we need. When it comes to packing the big things (like down jackets, sleeping bags, and the single outfit I'll be wearing THE WHOLE TIME) I'm not worried. It's trying to gather all the little things we'll need. Things like rehydration powder (for the inevitable diarrhea), a pen, and most importantly my passport. Do you guys do that thing where you double-check your ID like 8 times on your way to the airport?
Here's our full packing list as of right now (it will all fit in 2 backpacks):
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 (257)
- Trendy Third
- Dad Style
- From the inspiration files
- Anatomy of an Outfit: The Non-Conformist
- Tools for Freelancing
- The Accidental Minimalist
- Anatomy of an Outfit: Black and Brown
- A pop of color.
- Girl Crush: Agyness Deyn
- Designing a Meal
- Anatomy of an Outfit: Shiny Leggings
- Teepee Tent
- From Kathmandu to Everest Base Camp
- Window Shopping: Boot Lust
- Donny Vomit Merchandise
- Chickens. On a bus.
- Anatomy of an Outfit: Vintage Dress
- 4 Months Freelance
- Prepping for Everest: The Little Things
- ▼ October (21)
- ► 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