currently : five

15 Dec

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our attempt at a family selfie this weekend

thinking about: ending 2014 on a positive note (it’s been a bit of a trying year!) and planning for an epic 2015. I’m in need of a fresh start and nothing says “fresh start” like a new year. We will be in Sedona to ring in the new year and I can’t think of a better place to set new intentions for the year ahead- that place is magic.

grateful for: a peaceful state of mind, my husband, pandora, english breakfast tea with vanilla cream, long walks every morning with Frankie and my ipod, a bright and cheerful office space to create in, candles, rainy weather, my little brother & clients.

watching: I’ve been going to the movies weekly this fall- so much good stuff to see! So far I’ve seen…The Skeleton twins, This Is Where I Leave You, The Good Lie, Gone Girl, Nightcrawler, Intersteller, The Theory Of Everything, Horrible Bosses 2 & Wild. Currently working on a movie review post. Oh and this past weekend Bri and watched a bunch of stuff on netflix- my favorite being the documentary “Burt’s Buzz” about the man behind the company Burt’s Bees- the guy fascinates me.

loving: the holiday season. There is nothing better than cuddling up on the couch with my little family of three next to our Christmas tree.

working on: my “end of year to do list”. It comprises of twenty things- ranging from finishing a few writing projects, to finally selling the marble slab that we removed from our kitchen island months ago (one in which has been occupying most of our guest bathroom ever since).

favorite quote at the moment : 

“You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

bert IV

10 Dec

Christmas…2010…Brian and I had been dating a few months (maybe seven?)…we weren’t living together yet but it was clear that we were headed in that direction. So we decided that “we” would get a Christmas tree that year and that it would live at Brian’s house…it was also decided that that tree would be named Bert.  Bert 1 was tiny, fat and crooked but he was ours and he symbolized us being a family unit…so he was perfect. Cut to…Christmas season 2014…and we are welcoming Bert 4 into our home. It’s crazy how much has changed in the past four years. Below you can see the progression of the Berts. I will say the newest Bert is pretty perfect and is decorated with ornaments that we have collected the past few years and with it so many memories. The last picture kills me….Clearly, Frank was not so sure about having a tree in the house.

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Bert 2...

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Tenganan Village- East Bali

4 Dec

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As I mentioned in my previous post Brian and I ventured away from the grounds of our hotel, Alila Manggis only once during our five-day stay. It was too damn pretty to leave! Our one big cultural outing was a guided tour through Tenganan Village, an isolated community located in East Bali. At one time it was even referred to as one of the most secluded societies of the archipelago.

The people of Tenganan are called Bali Aga— “the original Balinese”. They are descendants from the pre-Majapahit kingdom of Pegeng. They have strict rules as to who is allowed to live in the village- only those born in the village can stay and become full members of the community. There are also strict rules regarding marriage- anyone who marries outside of the village….must leave the community immediately. Ouch! The Bali Aga also speak a dialect of the Balinese language that is entirely their own, dating back from thousands of years- supposedly it varies from village to village.

Tenganan Village is separated both socially and economically from the rest of Bali, shut off by a solid wall that surrounds the entire village- the wall is meant to keep outsiders away. There are four gates that you can access the village from, one facing north, south, east and west. Due to the inclusive nature of the village I was surprised that they were open to having tourists come in. Our guide explained that due to the entrance fee (two dollars per person) as well as the opportunity to sell their art; beautiful wovens, Ikat textiles & wood carvings, they make an exception. Tourists flock to the area due to the fact that the village still holds to the original Balinese traditions, ceremonies and rules.

It’s like walking into another world when you pass through the gates.

Roosters, dogs and even cows roam free in the village, although some of the roosters are also in bamboo-cages, some spray-painted in different colors for cockfights. When I first saw the brightly colored roosters (hot pink!) I was amused….until I learned about the cockfighting. Then I wanted run around and free them all. Our guide explained that cockfighting is over thousand-year-old Balinese tradition in Balinese Hinduism, and part of religious rituals to expel evil spirits. I found learning about the details of cockfights both fascinating and terribly disturbing at the same time.

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The houses of Tenganan are arranged in rows on each side of stone paved avenues. In the central place is the council house where the elders meet. This council house is some seventy feet long, strongly built and very old.

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It was an amazing few hours- there is nothing I love more (other than Brian and Frank) then learning about other cultures.

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All photos by Brian Glodney photography 

east bali

1 Dec

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The last stop on our honeymoon was five nights at the insanely gorgeous Alila Manggis located in East Bali- a quiet section of the island known for its lush forests and the active volcano, Mount Agung. After traveling for almost a month through Hanoi, Halong Bay, Ho Chi Minh, Ubud & Nusa Lembongan, we were both pretty exhausted from the non stop movement.

Our vacation was making us tired…take out the tiny violin, right?

Considering neither of us wanted to fly back to Los Angeles without our batteries fully recharged, we allowed ourselves to do the unthinkable for people like us…do absolutely nothing for the last leg of the trip. We fought it the first day, both feeling bad about not scheduling more things during our stay. We spent the first day by the pool sipping fruity cocktails and flipping through the hotels activity brochure in search of something. An afternoon of sailing? A scenic bike ride? A sunrise trek up Mount Agung? Although, I simply couldn’t fathom waking up at 3am to trek to the top of Mount Agung. Since we couldn’t settle on anything, we just kept sipping fruity cocktails by the pool. Normally, this would have been a pool/beach combo but this section of Bali isn’t known for its beaches. Transalation….there really isn’t a beach, especially at high tide. So we pooled it. I wasn’t disappointed though because the pool at Alila Manggis was epic. It begged to be sat by for five days straight. It would have been unfair to it if we didn’t.

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Our daily routine was pretty solid…wake up by 9am…eat breakfast (which happened to be an amazing complimentary feast. It kept me full for most of the day)…go back to our room to change into our bathing suits and proceed to the pool to swim, read (I laughed and sobbed my way through “A Fault In Our Stars”), eat, drink & sleep, usually wrapping it up around five when we would go back to our hotel room to lounge around in bed until we got hungry for dinner.

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We left the hotel grounds once…once!! How crazy is that? On day five we finally put the fruity cocktails down and ventured out for a little culture, a guided tour through Tenganan Village, which is often referred to as the original Bali.

The tour through the village will be up on the blog next!

photos by Brian Glodney Photography

Happy Thanksgiving!

27 Nov

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Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope your holiday is filled with lots of love, laughter and yummy food! There is so much to be grateful for this year and I look forward to spending the day counting my blessings!

Have a beautiful holiday.

ps…I’ll be back to regular posting next week

xx

Kate

18 / 52

17 Nov

 

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“a portrait of my child, once a week, every week″

Every night when Brian walks through the door after work Frankie runs over to him so he can be scooped up.  Then he nuzzles his head into the crook of Brian’s neck and they proceed to hug. It’s the sweetest thing in the world. Although, I also get a bit jealous. Frank never hugs me like that- believe me I’ve tried to make him! I guess it’s their thing”.

project 30 – ashley

13 Nov

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Ashley, 36 / from one of my favorite blogs Hither & Thither

What would your 30 something self tell your 20 something self if you could?

Everything has gone very well, so it’s hard to suggest to my younger self to do anything different. But besides a few practical tips (learn Spanish!), and the possibility of fortune-telling (get a job at this upstart called Google!), I would tell myself to intern more during undergraduate and graduate school, to meet more mentors and see what those career ideals really look like in practice. After all, it’s all possible.

Oh, and I’d tell her she’s right: he is the perfect guy.

What do you wish you took more seriously in your 20’s?

Trying on different—practical—hats. Figuring out my career goals.

What do you wish you took less seriously in your 20’s?

I was a graduate student for much of my 20s. I wish I’d taken most things less seriously!

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

Meeting, and then marrying, my longtime love, Aron. Our wedding day was the best day.

In your early 20’s where did you think you would be (work, live etc) by 30?

I always imagined I’d be working in academia. I loved teaching. But by the end of my 20s, I was a book editor in New York. And blogging has been a complete surprise! (A good one.)

And where were you by 30? What did your life look like?

When I turned 30, I had just taken a job as an editorial assistant at a publishing house. It was a scary step: I was essentially starting at the bottom in a new field after years of going toward a different goal. I was newly married and living in a new city, across the country from everyone I’d known. And it was thrilling!

Were you ever worried that it wouldn’t all fall into place?

Of course! And I still do! I feel like I still have a dynamic life ahead. What will I do when my kids are in school? What do I want my career to look like? Is blogging something I should continue to invest my time and effort into? Am I making the choices now that will make me happiest later? It never ends.

What is the greatest gift about being a woman in your 30’s?

So far, my 30s have been the family chapter. It’s hard to think of these years without thinking about how Skyler and Hudson (9 months and 3 1/2 years) have impacted my life. But on a more general level, there is a confidence that 30 brings. Experience brings confidence.

When you look out onto the horizon. What do you hope your life looks like at 40?

A bit slower. Right now, the hours in the day are just too few!

What’s a quote/ saying you try to live your life by?

The Golden Rule: Treat others as you’d like to be treated yourself. Even if you don’t always get the reciprocity you’re hoping for, you’ll feel good about yourself—the ultimate reward.

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