Author: Innately Kait

Kait: Twenty-Something, Girlfriend, Art Historian, Photographer, Blogger, Aspiring Chef. I geek out to Roman copies of Greek original sculptures from the Hellenistic Mediterranean. Sometimes I also stalk cats. Yeah, I'm that girl. I also enjoy spending time in the kitchen. I'm a bit of an enigma when it comes to cooking. While I can whip up a flawless Thanksgiving feast I have also been known to burn frozen pizzas at the drop of a hat. I read like it is going out of style and I enjoy a good video game every once in a while. I'm a huge fan of wine and sarcasm. I live somewhere in a frozen wasteland near the middle of nowhere with my boyfriend and the hellcat, Skeeter.

First of the Month BuJo Update: April 2019

It’s that time again, friends!  A newish month means new bullet journal spreads!  Let’s get right to it!

So again, we’ve got some lame photos in here because I was traveling the first week of April (hence why this is also posted on the 12th and not the 1st — oops) so everything was done in a hurry.  I mean, just last night I filled in my bills tracker so that’s where my life is at this month.

March Recap

March went mostly well.  The new meal tracker was pretty much a win and helped me see that I wasn’t eating enough snacks during the day.  Also, I was pretty lazy some days and didn’t even bother filling it in so it also helped me figure out that I’m still pretty much a lazy bum when it comes to using my Bujo every day.

My TV/Movie tracker was maybe not my best idea.  I don’t watch that much TV so I don’t really know what I was thinking.  Instead it was more of a tracker for TV shows that I already knew I liked (Golden Girls, anyone?) and ended up being mostly useless.  That page got scrapped this month but more on that later.

Finally, the book tracker.  Ugh.  That was a fail so I simplified that this month, too.

Ok, on to the April update…

Theme:

I discovered I had a bunch of washi and stickers that related to rain so this month is “April Showers” themed.  Stickers are from all over the place so they are hard to credit.  Please drop a comment if you want to know a specific one.  The little birds and rain clouds are from Michael’s and come from a $1 sticker pack they sold last year.  There’s lots of Happy Planner in there as well!

Spreads:

April starts off the same way as my other bujos: cover page, monthly, goals, and habits.  I wanted to try something new this month to give me a more holistic view of what’s going on in my life.

Being out of work since November, I’ve really had to crack down on my spending.  The budget and spending trackers I introduced last month were amazing.  They did help curb my sticker addiction but I realized I still buy waaaaaaay too much crap I don’t need.  They are back again this month as a reminder that I really don’t need that much craft paper (said no one ever)..

I’m still working on using my meal planner religiously.  So far I’ve already forgotten most of this week.  I’m off to a rocking start.

Because my Netflix/Hulu spread bombed and I was recently diagnosed with PTSD (more on that another time), I added a “Self-Care Bingo” spread to the mix.  I’m so bad at taking care of me, ya’ll.  Yet I regularly speak about the importance of self-care to others.  So I’m upping my game.  I haven’t quite figured out what my Bingo prize will be but I’m pretty sure it will be awesome (or maybe it will just be less stress which is also awesome).

My reading spread last month was…well, ambitious.  Was I ever going to read a bazillion books in a month?  No.  I simplified this month to make me feel less anxious about not reading all the books.  I also removed the section for tracking followers because that was far too tedious for my tiny time schedule.

Then we get back into my “normal” spreads.  I combined my Line A Day and Gratitude spreads into one journaling page.  I upped my creativity on my Currently recap by hand-drawing that sucker (there’s something to be said of the printable though).  Finally, my Wins/Losses page finishes the tracking spreads and we head into my weeklies and dailies.

Final Thoughts:

I’m not skilled at using my journal daily.  MUST GET BETTER!

Supplies for March:

  • Pilot Precise V5 Deco Collection Rolling Ball Pens
  • Pilot FriXion Ball Slim Retractable
  • Craft Smith™ Wonton In A Million™ Sticker Book, Budget 1
  • Craft Smith™ Sweet Kawaii Design™ Sticker Book, Home Life
  • Zebra Pen Mildliner
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Book Review: The Valedictorian of Being Dead

The Valedictorian of Being Dead: The True Story of Dying Ten Times to LiveThe Valedictorian of Being Dead: The True Story of Dying Ten Times to Live by Heather B. Armstrong

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Holy cow. This book.

The Valedictorian of Being Dead is Heather Armstrong’s story of recovery and it’s powerful. She’s long been known as a “mommy blogger” over at Dooce and has shared her life with readers for years. However, following her divorce and bitter custody, Armstrong actively worked to keep her crippling depression secret from everyone but her mother. With nothing working and no other options, she decides to try an experimental treatment meant to reset her brain by nearly killing it.

The book is well written though conversational — think of it as an extended blog post. Armstrong is both poignant and hilarious and I found myself laughing out loud and openly sobbing over the course of the book. It’s a quick read and I finished it in just a few hours. The writing is very detailed and some readers might not understand why Armstrong writes about the sound of shoes on the floor or the overpowering feeling of exhaustion. It’s almost something one has to have lived to understand.

The Valedictorian of Being Dead hit closer to home than I anticipated. While I don’t suffer from clinical depression, I do suffer from chronic illness and I’ve been having more flare-ups since December 2018. I know what it’s like to look down the tunnel and there’s no light. I know what it’s like to wonder “Is this all there is?” I know what it feels like to want to be dead. I know all these things and my heart goes out to everyone who fights this battle Every. Damn. Day.

This is a fantastic book for family members who don’t understand but want to learn more about the struggle faced by those with mental or chronic illness. Bottom line — this is a good book. It’s an important book. It’s a must read from me.

First of the Month BuJo Update: March 2019

It’s that time again, friends!  A new month means new bullet journal spreads!  Let’s get right to it!

These are not the best photos I’ve ever taken but I was honestly too excited about my March spreads to worry about getting the perfect photos!

Alright.  March is the beginning of a new journal.  I’m using the LT1917 in “Sand” this time around.  It was a little odd since it’s an older version of the LT1917 so I had to realign my spreads.  More on that in another post.  Let’s get down to the meat of this one.

Theme:

I’m not a huge fan of the traditional “St. Patrick’s Day” and green is my least favorite color.  I went an unconventional route: Firefly!  I grabbed some space themed washi tapes from Amazon and Michael’s.  I was able to grab all the Firefly-themed stickers from Redbubble and they are amazing.  I was able to pull them up and re-position the stickers several times without tearing the paper.  I highly recommend Redbubble for your sticker needs!

Spreads:

March starts off the same way as my other bujos: cover page, monthly, goals, and habits.  I wanted to try something new this month to give me a more holistic view of what’s going on in my life.

Being out of work since November, I’ve really had to crack down on my spending.  To make things more fun, my student loans are coming out of their grace period.  Welcome, budget and spending trackers.  I’m hoping this will help me manage my sticker addiction loan repayment goals and I’ll have a better grasp on where my money goes each month.

The next new spread is the meal planner.  I’ve developed some fun blood sugar issues and need to stay on top of what I’m eating each day.  Plus as a new stay-at-home-mom, I’m in charge of planning all our meals so what better way that dropping it in my bullet journal.

The final new additions are the Netflix/Hulu tracker and my book spreads.  Since I’ve got the tiniest bit of spare time on my hands, I’ve taken to watching some new shows on Netflix and Hulu (Umbrella Academy, anyone!?) and I wanted to note what I liked and didn’t like.  I’m notoriously picky when it comes to my TV and movies.  My book spread is pretty self explanatory.  I read a lot (that’s kind of the point of this blog) and I wanted to track my progress over the month.

Then we get back into my “normal” spreads.  I combined my Line A Day and Gratitude spreads into one journaling page.  I upped my creativity on my Currently recap by hand-drawing that sucker (there’s something to be said of the printable though).  Finally, my Wins/Losses page finishes the tracking spreads and we head into my weeklies and dailies.

Final Thoughts:

We’ll see how this goes.  I’m more of a to do list person which is what pulled me into bullet journaling in the first place.  I’ll check back in at the end of the month with a spread update!

Supplies for March:

  • Glitzy Planet Glitter Washi Tape By Recollections
  • Molshine Set of 8 Galaxy Washi Tape
  • Redbubble Firefly Stickers
  • Leuchtturm1917 Hardcover Medium A5 Dotted Notebook [Sand]
  • Pilot Precise V5 Deco Collection Rolling Ball Pens
  • Pilot FriXion Ball Slim Retractable
  • Craft Smith™ Wonton In A Million™ Sticker Book, Budget 1
  • Craft Smith™ Sweet Kawaii Design™ Sticker Book, Home Life
  • Zebra Pen Mildliner

Recipe: Roasted Buttermilk Chicken

Today we’re mixing it up with something a little different — a recipe!  Woot!  Yes, I should probably have taken pictures but I forgot and then my kid and husband wolfed down the food so — next time.  For now, suffice it to say that my very picky eater enjoyed the meal.

ROASTED BUTTERMILK CHICKEN

PREP: 5 minutes
SET: 8 hours to overnight
COOK: 2 hours, 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 whole chicken, around 3 pounds
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 TBSP thyme if fresh, 3/4 tablespoon if dry.
  • 2 TBSP salt
  • 1 TSP black pepper
  • 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • a few TBSP flour**

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Grate the zest from lemon to measure around 1 teaspoon. Set this lemon aside. Combine buttermilk, olive oil, 4 smashed garlic cloves, chopped thyme, 1 TBSP salt, pepper, and lemon zest in a large plastic freezer bag. Seal bag, and shake it to evenly mix. Add the whole chicken to bag and seal. Place the bag, breast side down, in the refrigerator and chill 8 hours or up to overnight, shaking the bag occasionally to evenly marinate.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle of oven. Remove chicken from marinade, and pat dry with paper towels. Discard marinade.**
  3. Season chicken with remaining 1 TBSP salt, using some salt in the cavity as well. Stuff the cavity with thyme sprigs, the zested lemon cut in half, and remaining 2 smashed garlic cloves. Tie legs together with kitchen twine, and tuck wing tips under to prevent over crispiness.
  4. Transfer to a large cast-iron skillet. Place a sheet of parchment paper over chicken. Top with 2 large sheets of aluminum foil, and crimp around edges of skillet to seal.
  5. Bake chicken in the oven for one hour and 20 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers around 150°F degrees (it’s okay if it’s over this temperature).
  6. Remove chicken from oven, and discard parchment paper and foil. Increase oven temperature to broil; let oven preheat 5 minutes
  7. Baste chicken with pan juices. Return chicken to oven, and broil until skin is dark golden brown, about 10 minutes. You may baste it once halfway through if you desire.
  8. Let rest 10 minutes. (Internal temperature will continue to rise to 165°F.) Carve chicken, and drizzle pan drippings over sliced meat. Garnish with thyme leaves if desired.
  9. **Some marinate may be kept and brought to a boil in a saucepan for 5 to 7 minutes. reduce to a slow simmer, add flour, and stir until thickened. Serve as a gravy over the chicken.

Book Review: Sole Survivor

Sole Survivor: The Inspiring True Story of Coming Face to Face with the Infamous Railroad KillerSole Survivor: The Inspiring True Story of Coming Face to Face with the Infamous Railroad Killer by Holly Dunn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

We continue our true crime streak today.

I first came across Holly Dunn’s story a few years ago on an episode of 48 Hours. I was floored by her resilience then and when I saw she was writing a book to commemorate the 20th anniversary of her survival, I knew I had to read it.

Dunn is the sole survivor of a terrible serial killer known as the Railroad Killer. Angel Maturino Resendiz is suspected of killed 23 people across the United States and Mexico over a 20 year period. Through luck and quick thinking Dunn was able to live through her terrible encounter with the Railroad Killer and she’s gone on to help countless survivors of rape and violence.

While Dunn’s story is incredible and moving, the book was a bit long and more conversational in tone than well written. Some have complained the book glosses over the aftermath of the attack, which is true. If you wanted a book solely focused on the crime, this is not for you. This book is about Dunn’s recovery, her faith in God, and her life now. There is a heavy religious element to this book and readers need to be aware that there is some witnessing happening.

Overall it was not a bad book. Holly Dunn is an inspiration and a powerful survivor and that is worth more than anything.