Here I am practicing my sad-pigeon-toed-model-contemplating-proper-silverware-placement look.
Lately, I've noticed lots of people talking about rules and manners and what's proper and good form and etiquette lately. Of course, there is a time and place for some of those things but I also think that some rules are just silly and made to be challenged.
For example, I love to be controversial by simply wearing black and brown together, especially when it comes to shoes and belts, and doing so with such intention that people know, just by looking at me, that I'm a rule-breaker. But at the same time I think some antiquated (and sometimes almost sexist) etiquette notions are sweet - like when going on a walk the boy staying on the side towards the road so that if anyone gets hit by a car it's him and not me. That's romantic, right?
So tell me: what are some rules you like to break? And on the flip side - what are some nice ones that you like to follow?
Boots - Frye
Tights - Target
Denim - Street
Belt - Target
Shirt - BCBG
Jacket - Vintage
P.S. My friend's mom is starting a manners/etiquette blog that I'm helping to design - I'll be sure to share once it's up and running!
Yesterday I received a package in the mail, chock full of paper goodies, from my friend Carina of Crow & Canary. This post isn't just to tell you all that I have sweet friends that send me awesome mail though.
This post is to tell you that I'm seriously considering creating a stationery / printed goods line. It's something I considered when I first went freelance but quickly realized that I didn't have the time, money or energy to invest in a line. I even bought a Gocco press a few months ago (which still remains in the box) and I have had daydreams about carving potatoes and creating one-of-a-kind prints.
Right now I'm working away on lots of fun custom wedding invitations and small business identities, but Carina's package reminded me of this stationery line I had once been dreaming about. I'm booked solid until June - at that time I will continue to take on branding & identity / various print jobs but I will start to push back a bit on the custom wedding invitations. I'm going to free up a little bit of time and give myself space to work on this stationery line I've been dreaming about.
Thanks again to Carina for sparking my imagination.
EDIT: I've fixed my misuse of the word stationery and stationary. Even as I was trying to make a joke of it I STILL got it all wrong.
First off, I love beets. I love how they taste like sweet earth. I love how they stain my fingers red. I love how the make me say "Sookaaah, I am vampire!" when I eat them. I love that these beets are so sexy they're almost not safe for work.
So, it was Friday afternoon. Jeremy and I had planned a lunch date but we couldn't decide on what we wanted to eat. I was procrastinating and hurrying up and waiting when I came across this recipe for beetroot pesto. I also happened to have two roasted beets in the fridge. So I decided that we'd just stay home for lunch - I got some pasta boiling, wilted some spinach over low heat and threw 2 beets, a handful of almonds, 3 cloves of garlic and a little bit of olive oil in the food processor. And just like that we had an amazing lunch. Followed by an amazing, definitely not safe for work, dessert.
Curry is definitely my go-to meal when I can't think of anything else to make for dinner. It's quick, easy and delicious - and not to mention, totally healthy. Though, I do feel guilty when my dinner doesn't have any green in it.
This curry was really easy - I just washed and quartered 8 small potatoes. I boiled them until tender. Meanwhile, I sliced some onions and fried up some tofu. I sauteed the onions in a little oil and when tender I added the potatoes and some curry (1-2 tbs.) to the pan - once fragrant I added a can of coconut milk, the tofu, a handful of cashews and a tablespoon full of tahini to the mix. I let it all simmer together for about 10 minutes and then served over brown basmati rice.
Two years ago today Jeremy and I promised each other, in our living room in front of all of our nearest and dearest, that we would make a home together - forever. It was then that Jeremy promised to call me his be it on a desert or a shore, be it in fine health or weary, happy times or teary, for all days from here until the grave. It was then that I promised Jeremy that I would love him, trust him and do right by him for all the years ahead, until the day I'm dead.
But now, I find that the real vows happen daily, in those sleepy moments before bed - when we're lying nose-to-nose and recounting our day. Or on long road trips when we're talking about what we've learned from the past and what's next. It's in those moments that we promise each other that we won't be scared - from exploring the world to sporting a righteous mustache - we promise to be brave. Every single day - we do.
P.S. Hello to those visiting from the guest post I wrote on How To: Plan An At Home Wedding at A Practical Wedding!
From the archives:
A Polaroid Wedding
The Honeymoon (that ended with The Emergency Appendectomy)
I'm not the cleanest person in the whole world but sometimes when I'm feeling stuck or especially anxious I like to roll up my sleeves and dive into some deep cleaning. The other afternoon I was experiencing a creative block and at the same time noticed that the contents of our cabinets were a total mess. We had bulk bags, partially filled with random grains, nuts and dried fruits scattered amongst our shelves.
So, I got to work. I took an hour of my afternoon to organize and clean. It cleared my mind and after I was done I went back to my computer and knocked out a new design. It was a win-win afternoon.
P.S. Thanks for all your comments and emails on yesterday's post. I just want to clarify that I am so grateful for all the work and clients that I have - as well as the amazing support system I've got in Jeremy, my blog readers, family and friends. You guys are the best. xo!
When I decided to quit my fast-paced agency job to go freelance I had all these dreams about living a simple life. Dreams about designing beautiful work. Dreams about keeping my home cozy and clean and filled with smells of fresh homemade bread. But then I found that kicking off my new career in freelance was time-consuming and emotional. I felt guilty for not making as much money as I was used to. And work still felt like work.
So then I took a month off to trek in the Himalayas. I found peace in each step and each breath. I came home recharged. I redefined success for myself - and it had little to do with how much money I was bringing in. I decided to measure success not only by the quality of my work but with the quality of my life.
The thing is - it's very much in my nature to be on edge. To be overly critical and harsh on myself. To be unsatisfied with good enough. So, I put it out there and told the Universe to bring it on - let's see how much I can handle. And the Universe listened and was all "oh, it's already been brought." That's when you all, my amazing clients, started emailing me and hiring me and filling up my chalkboard wall with project after project. I've been avoiding my profit/loss sheet since the beginning of the year but last week when I sneaked a peek I learned that over the past three months I've been making as much money as I was at my 9-to-5 job - maybe more. I got this huge boost of confidence - I fist-pumped the air and said "SUCCESS!"
But with that, I managed to forget that even when I'm making lots of money that I still shouldn't measure my success with it. And when I take a good hard look at my quality of life over the last month or two it's been suffering. I've been buzzing with anxiety and hard feelings.
So this is The Universe telling me to slow down. To take time in the middle of the day to sweat it out and soak up some sun. To take time to design each project I take on with my whole heart. The Universe is telling me to take a good hard look at what it is that I want - which doesn't involve working into the evenings and weekends to keep up. The Universe is telling me to take afternoon breaks to enjoy a slow cup of tea and bread made from scratch. To not feel so impatient and hurried with every little thing I do.
The Universe is telling me to stop and smell the Bradford Pears in bloom - which also happen to smell like super-fun-dirty-sexy-times.
As always, if you are new around here meet Liz. Liz and I first met when she interned at the ad agency I was art directing at - she was later hired as a designer and we've been friends ever since. When she bought a home around the corner from me we shared lots of bottles of wine and good laughs. And when she decided to move across the country to art direct on the East coast I decided to leave my job and art direct with a view of my back yard.
I always look forward to Liz's Flickr updates. Her photos are always a reminder that we have the luxury of art directing the world around us. That there is a ton of pretty in the details. And you guys - she takes all of these snaps on a tiny Canon Powershot point and shoot. So any time I'm tempted to buy a Canon D7 (and trust me, I'm tempted) I just need to dig through Liz's Flickr archives and remind myself that it's not the tools that make the magic.
I know I'm a lucky girl but the past couple of days have been especially overwhelming. My job has just been especially demanding lately - I feel a bit lost in the weeds and am having a hard time navigating my way out.
I need to pull out all the tricks to try and snap out of it. They include:
• bright fingernail polish
• a clean house
• crossing off to-dos
• sweating it out at the gym
• making out (with this cute guy)
• vitamin D (aka laying out in the backyard)
• doing something new & different (I see kayaking in my near future)
Do you have any go-to tricks for finding your way out of a funk?
On Friday we bought a house. Let me rephrase - on Friday we bought the cutest little house in the whole world. But we don't get to live in it - nope, we bought this house for someone else to live in.
This story actually starts almost 3 years ago. Jeremy was taking me on a date to see Feist but first we stopped for dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Over cheesy enchiladas we talked about the future. We started daydreaming about traveling the world and figuring out a way to one day work together and maybe retire at 50. It was there that we first started brainstorming what is now Ampersand Properties, Ltd. Co.
So, on Friday we bought a house. We celebrated with cupcakes and cheap champagne on bare wood floors. I walked around the empty place - giddy at the thought that this is our house but a little envious of whoever gets to make it their home.
If you're interested in living in the cutest little house in the whole world email me at email@example.com for more information.
Again, I don't feel like I have the right words or knowledge to eloquently discuss the topic of Japan and clean energy, but just this week we switched our Oklahoma Gas & Electric bill over so that our home is powered 100% by wind energy. We've tried before in the past but all the wind credits were already accounted for. A good friend of mine is currently studying the long term effects clean energy may have on our environment - so I know it has it's issues. But at least wind power isn't going to leak radiation into our air, oceans and food. It adds an extra $6.50 a month to our bill - and it's money well spent.
P.S. A big shout-out to all the amazing bloggers participating in the For Japan With Love fundraiser today. This is a pretty rad community we've got, huh?
Yesterday I did not want to wear anything more than jeans, a t-shirt and a messy little bun. So I thought, as I often do, What would Carrie (as in Bradshaw) do? She would take jeans and a t-shirt to the next level with a little bit of sparkle is what she would do. So I did.
Sequin Bolero - F21
Local is for Lovers Oklahoma T-Shirt - Collected Thread
Jeans - Street
Heels - Crown Vintage (not actually vintage)
Gold Braided Belt - Estate sale find ($1)
Custom harness necklace - Clyde's Rebirth
My fabulous friend Keri (who describes herself as tattooed and J. Crewed) is sick of boys looking her up on Facebook in order to ask her out on a date. She wants to know what happened to a good ol' fashioned phone call. Has the internet turned boys into total scaredy-cats? And how unromantic is it when a boy asks for your number and hands you his smart phone to plug in your information?
That's when Keri commissioned me to design a simple calling card. A sweet nod to more simple times. And of course, it's not just for handing out to cute boys - a calling card is great way to pass along your contact information to anyone who may need it. Because people are always asking Keri how she pronounces her name (first and last) I thought it would be cute include the dictionary phonetics on her card. I also designed it to fit the Mini Moo business card template - Keri loved it and immediately ordered some.
P.S. That's not Keri's real phone number so don't even try. But if you know any cute single boys, preferably with a job, holler at me and we'll play matchmaker.
Top left photograph by Rex Barrett for Trendy Third
One of the biggest things I learned from our Nepal trek is that the world is really small. That the other side of the globe is just a plane ticket away.
I'm going to admit that it's really easy to feel tucked away and disconnected from wars and natural disasters that are happening across the globe. Before we went to Mt. Everest base camp I could hardly pinpoint where Nepal was on a map. And now my ears perk up when I hear about the political unrest in that region on the radio - I feel connected. I no longer feel like my world has nothing to do with those people - because those people are now my friends. This is why I want to see the world - all of it. I want to celebrate our differences and recognize our similarities. I want to feel connected.
I wasn't planning on doing a post about Japan because I don't feel like I have the right words. But the words I do have are I'm thinking about you.
It's that time of year where Spring is starting to make an appearance but Winter is having a hard time letting go. It's the perfect metaphor for what I'm feeling too. I'm ready for what's next but at the same time feeling a bit nostalgic. Like boots paired with shorts and wool cardigans with short sleeves, here's to taking advantage of the best of both.
Boots - Blowfish
Socks - Target
Cut-offs - Street Jeans
Top - Urban Outfitters
Cardigan - Banana Republic
Earring - Shop Good
Jeremy and I are currently in Week 5 of P90X - an insane workout system that has us doing push-ups, pull-ups and superman bananas on a daily basis. We're constantly sore and poking at our achy muscles. Now, we were already pretty fit people, working out on a daily basis but recently finding ourselves at a plateau. I want muscles. As you know, I want to be a post-apocalyptic heroine - I've got the outfits - now I just need the 6-pack abs to match.
What I'm learning through this whole thing is that it's not just the energy you spend and weights you lift but that you've got to have the right fuel to get you through your day. In general, I know we eat healthy and I subscribe to the Michael Pollan food philosophy of eat real food, not too much, mostly plants. I am not interested in protein powders or supplements - I feel like I should be able to get everything I need from what I eat. However, with my new sort-of-vegan eating habits and the desire to build muscle I've been more curious about exactly what I've been putting into my body. It can be difficult to track the nutritional information when you're cooking from scratch with farmers market vegetables that don't have labels. But then I found this website that figures it out for you.
Nutrition Data for the Green Protein Bowl
This is only a fraction of the information provided about this meal. Again, I let my body dictate what I eat and when but it is really interesting to see the breakdown of information like this.
The Green Protein Bowl
1 c quinoa (pronounced keen-wah)
1 bunch of broccoli
2 packages of mushrooms
1 large bag of spinach
1 bunch of fresh basil
1/2 c walnuts
3 tbs olive oil (divided)
3 cloves of garlic
juice from half a lemon
Herbs de Provence
Heat your oven to 375F. Wash your broccoli and mushrooms. Remove the stems of your mushrooms and discard. Chop the caps into quarters. Cut the broccoli florets into bite size pieces. Toss together in a large bowl with 1 tbs of olive oil, salt, and Herbs de Provence. Pour into a casserole pan and bake for 25 minutes or just until the edges of the broccoli florets are a little browned and mushrooms are cooked down.
Rinse your quinoa and bring to a boil in a medium sauce pan (1c quinoa / 2c water). Once boiling cover and bring to a simmer. Once all the water is absorbed your quinoa is done - it usually takes 15-20 minutes.
As your veggies are roasting assemble your pesto. Combine your walnuts, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 bunch of basil and as much spinach as you can fit into your food processor. Blend together as you slowly pour 2 tbs of olive oil and the juice from 1/2 a lemon into the mix. As everything breaks down continue to add more spinach and blend. I wound up adding a whole bag of spinach to this pesto.
Add your cooked quinoa and pesto to the bowl you used to toss the veggies in. Mix together. Remove your roasted veggies from the oven and pour over the pesto quinoa mix - liquid and all. Fold the veggies in and serve.
Serves 4 very hungry people.
I decided see-through shirts were totally appropriate for daily attire when I worked at JCPenney's in the Old Lady Department and witnessed an 85-year-old lady with completely see-through polyester shirts shopping the sale racks. She was probably senile and/or just had no idea she forgot to wear some sort of camisole with her sheer polka dotted blouse but either way... I liked her style and made sure to take note.
P.S. Today my sister did a post about me and where all this style came from. It turns out I was born this way.
Shoes - Vintage Aerosoles
Trousers - Max Studio
Belt - Thrifted
Top - Urban Outfitters
Bra - Victoria's Secret
Jean Jacket - Ralph Lauren (this is the first and only thing I've ever bought off eBay)
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)
- Anatomy of an Outfit: Rule Breaker
- Stationery (Not Stationary)
- Yellow Cashew Curry with Potatoes
- Then and Now
- Anatomy of an Outfit: Animal
- An Organized Kitchen
- Freelance: Taking a Break
- Pretty from the Lizrary
- Anatomy of an Outfit: The Pajama Alternative
- Lost in the Weeds
- On Becoming Landlords
- Clean Energy
- Anatomy of an Outfit: Sparkle
- Call Me
- Help Japan
- It's a Small World
- Anatomy of an Outfit: Between Seasons
- Green Protein Bowl
- Anatomy of an Outfit: Sheer Style
- Boots I have Known
- A Very Local Omelet
- Anatomy of an Outfit: The Smile
- Tax Time
- TO-DO | Matters
- Anatomy of an Outfit: Running an Errand
- Identity: Pip & Estella
- Anatomy of an Outfit: A Little Bit Rock and Roll
- Honeysuckle and Gray Wedding Invitations
- Girl Crush: Lady Gaga
- 9 Months Freelance
- ▼ March (31)
- ► 2010 (387)
- ► 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