Two Lives, One Lifestyle

Just This Once by Katie
September 27, 2010, 8:56 pm
Filed under: Family, Katie

Just as I had gotten into the groove of blogging and paying more attention… life up and gets crazy again.  Last weekend my stepdad’s brother passed away very unexpectedly and the whole week was spent with family- we dropped everything.  Not only is it tough to lose an uncle (step or not) who I’ve gotten to know over the past 14 years, my heart was breaking for my stepdad and his 4 other brothers, their parents, his wife and daughter, and all of the people who were clearly touched by his life.

The silver lining of it all has to be the strengthening and binding of family.  Day in and day out we spent with family, and though we cried there were a lot of laughs and then a lot of joyful tears about the bonding.  I can place the blame on John Jameson for at least a few of those late night tears.   In our late-night conversations we all came to that point we must remind ourselves of: we only have this one chance at this life and you’ve got to go for what you want and need out of it.  If it weren’t for the sorrows we wouldn’t quite appreciate the joy.  Don’t spend too much time thinking on the past or future- life’s going by faster than you can imagine.  Man, getting so deep here you’d think I was having a nip of the whiskey now.

Anyhow, I’ve got to say that my parental and family situation is probably a little more… unusual.  But I also couldn’t imagine it being any better.  First off- my mom has 4 siblings, my dad has 5 and my Bob has 5, plus one of my mom’s best friends Mary had 8 siblings.  And they all grew up in the same neighborhood- plus many of my Uncles, Aunts, and a lot of family friends (hi Marianne!). Think of all the cousins and cousin-like people I have.  They were tight-knit and the whole neighborhood hung out together, not in front of the TV (Oh did I mention the strong Irish Catholic vibe of the neighborhood?). It’s just something that I think totally lacks in this generation. For instance, my dad was good friends with a few of my stepdad’s brothers growing up and causing trouble together.  Same with my Aunt Laurie.  Maybe it sounds a little too close for some but as a divorced kid it couldn’t have been better than my dad and stepdad knew each other and their whole families already.   And in a situation like this, it is unbelievable support we are all giving and receiving from this wide net of friends and family.

This all probably seems a little off-topic and someone somewhere probably thinks I’m bragging about my family but it’s all just about appreciating the everyday and the people you have around you. 

But I am kind of proud to be part of such a crazy family unit, won’t lie.

Are you there Kelli? Its me, your blog… by Kelli
September 25, 2010, 1:35 pm
Filed under: Kelli

Sorry for the corny title, I just couldn’t help myself!  So yes, it has been a long while since I have posted.  As you know, Stephen and I bought a house back in May and I literally feel like I have not stopped to take a breath since then!  This summer I ran a marathon, bought a house, did lots of work on said house, became a God mother to my amazing nephew, had some down days, had some up day, visited Ohio, and did some other fun things.  While being so busy I completely neglected the blog.  Katie and I have decided that we do not want to be the “this is what I ate today…  this is what I did today…”type of healthy living blog.  While those blogs are really amazing and helped me in my healthy living transformation, I think we want to take this blog in a different direction.  We are going through, as Katie put it, a blog identity crisis.  We both have total type A personalities (hello!  I am an accountant and she is an engineer.  how could we NOT be type A?!?!?!) and want to be organized without being extreme.  I want this blog to be about what I strive for everyday, balance.  I think Katie and I both strive for balance, even though our lives are in two totally different places right now.  Here are the things I would like to focus on with my posts:

Basic, simple, delicious food (totally stole that from Katie 🙂 ): I feel the best when I am putting GOOD and SIMPLE foods into my body.  Foods that my body know what to do with and know how to process.  Whole grains, eggs, and lots and lots of greens. Lets get back to basics and let the natural flavors really stand out in the foods we eat.

Exercise: My exercise habits have changed slightly since running the marathon.  I have been trying to focus on strength and over all total body health rather than just cardio.  I am running a half marathon on October 17th, and then I might break up from running for a while.  I have found a new workout, CrossFit, at a new gym that I am really loving.  I am also loving hiking and just being OUTSIDE instead of on a treadmill.  I want to get back to why I started exercising in the first place.  I love the way it makes me feel.

Case Mountain Summit in Manchester, CT

BUDGET!: I will be completely honest with you, Stephen and I have rarely had to budget.  We have either had lots of money (like when we first got married), or no money at all (like when he had no job and we were living with his parents).  We have either been able to buy pretty much whatever we want or nothing at all.  We are in a position now where we both have amazing jobs with very good paychecks for how young we are.  We also have a house and lots of responsibilities.  For the first time in our married life we are able to buy things, but must plan it first.  Last month I analyzed out bank statement and divided every transaction into categories so I could see where we were wasting the most money.  We were spending way more than I realized on food!  I was buying groceries, AND we were getting take out probably once a week and going out to dinner on weekends, Stephen was also buying lunch out almost everyday at work.  This has got to stop!!!!  After analyzing out budget I have created a spread sheet (love excel) to keep track of every penny we spend and to budget our “categories”.  I will definitely be blogging about this!

So bear with us as we find out footing here at 2L1L!!!

What’s For Breakfast? by Katie
September 18, 2010, 8:00 am
Filed under: Breakfast, Eggs, Katie

On Saturdays (okay everyday while I’m not employed), I like to check out the vegetable drawer for breakfast.  Sneak a serving or two in first thing. Use up leftovers or those on-the-out vegetables before you go shopping again.

Pull out all your vegetables and figure out what order to put everything in the pan.  If you do it all at once, you might end up with burned or soggy vegetables.  If using mushrooms, add them first since shrooms get schweaty.  Check out the sweat on the side of the pan above.

After the shrooms sweat it out, add peppers, onion, broccoli, or anything else.  Maybe you have some already cooked leftovers (cubed sweet and white potatoes), add those next along with tomatoes.  And some leftover deli ham or some crumbled bacon..

While everything warms up, whisk together your eggs (those yolks have SO many nutrients and remember dietary cholesterol ≠ blood cholesterol!), turn down the heat a notch and pour eggs over the vegetables.

Cook it until the eggs are set to your liking and you’re starting your day pretty balanced- vegetables, fiber, protein, fat.  Uh, then try to take an appetizing picture of eggs.  It’s not easy.

Or Is It Fall? by Katie
September 17, 2010, 8:23 pm
Filed under: Katie, Squash

I think life goes faster every year.  I feel like it was just fall.  Good thing you’re easy, acorn squash.  I bake it for about an hour at 375, with a little water in the pan to keep everything from drying out.  About halfway through add a little butter, a generous sprinkle of cinnamon, and a touch of brown sugar.  If it’s fresh, sugar is pretty unnecessary and the cinnamon complements the natural flavor without adding sugar.

So the steps are: slice, scoop out seeds (save them to toast, just like from a pumpkin), put in a pan, roast.   And like the last summer squash recipe, while it cooks for an hour you could go do laundry or read a few book chapters or have some wine..

Then just scoop and mash in the skins and dig in.  You can eat the skins too if you feel like you need some extra super fiber.  I’m not taking credit for whatever digestive side effects may occur.

Because Summer is NOT Over by Katie
September 16, 2010, 7:46 pm
Filed under: Katie, Summer Squash

So we’re between seasons here in Upstate NY and at the grocery store; there is local summer squash next to cider and donuts.  For one last summery meal (if you live in a 4 seasons type of area), grab some zucchini and yellow squash or whatever looks good.  Slice it up, and spread out a layer in a baking dish.

After a layer of squash, add a drizzle of olive oil or some chopped butter along with fresh parsley.  Then add another layer of squash and repeat.  Once your dish is filled, sprinkle some parmigiano reggiano over the top and bake the whole thing at 350 for an hour.  Yes an hour.  That way it gets deliciously crisp.  It’s an easy prep so you can throw it in the oven and go read blogs or drink some wine in the meantime.

I always get too excited to eat and forget that “after” picture!

Meals to Marathons to More Me by Katie
September 15, 2010, 9:33 pm
Filed under: Beer, Katie

So I’ve been thinking, as you can see.  What is this blog about? What do I want it to be about? My organized type-A-ness makes me want structure and cohesiveness while my creative side has a new idea everyday.  This isn’t the first blog-identity crisis we’ve had at 2L1L though we’re practically blogging babies still. There are two things I know I want to post more about:

Simple, basic, delicious food. There are a lot of food extremes but I’m always somewhere in the middle.  Not exactly convenience food or gourmet food; health or junk food; vegan food or bacon-wrapped meaty meat balls.  Let’s just go back to the basics and throw in lots of garlic and herbs!

Beer. I’ve been enjoying the good stuff* thanks to my stepdad pretty much since I started to drink and wasn’t at a frat party.  He wasn’t at frat parties… that would be creepy.  Colorado brought this to a new level and I’m familiar with a lot of varieties and breweries.  Especially in this female heavy blog world, there isn’t much beer knowledge going around. I’d like to throw around some beer education if you’ll have me.

*Good stuff is most likely not from a major brewery.  Although Blue Moon will always have a place in my heart- thanks, college.

Well let’s see where this blog goes once again!

A Great Lake by Katie
September 14, 2010, 6:12 pm
Filed under: Dessert, Home, Ice cream, Katie, Rochester

Yup, I’m still in Rochester and that’s a pretty nice looking beach.  In the spirit of focusing on the here and now rather than worrying about the future, staying in the moment instead of missing CO, enjoying the detour as part of the destination, etc., I took some time to enjoy a Rochester view of Lake Ontario.  It was the perfect day for a walk- 70s, sunny, cool breeze- and a favorite local custard place might have been across the street from a park..

Vanilla and pumpkin custard on a beach on a gorgeous fall day- I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated that about Rochester before.  Also, if you’ve never had frozen custard before you should come visit.  It might look like softserve but it is so much better.  The only comparable thing I’ve had is ice cream in Norway. Yeah, so um visit Norway or Rochester ASAP.

Seeing a Great Lake for the first time confuses a lot of people. WHOA I can’t see Canada?!?!  Nope.

When I worked as a hostess at a restaurant on the lake so many people asked if they could sit “somewhere with a view of the ocean.”  The nice hostess voice said “Of course!” while on the inside I said something more like “Are you effing joking?? You either traveled here or live here and you’re a grown adult. How do you not know that you are hundreds of miles from the ocean right now? This is a freaking lake!”

So yes back to my original point, way to go Ro-cha-cha.