Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Operation "Lookin Fine in '09"

Okay if Britney can do it...so can I, and by "do it" I mean get skinny despite an extreme love for cheetos and fast food. Though I would like to think that I don't actually look as bad as this extremeley unflattering picture of B. Spears I am going to use it as my inspiration in '09. This was her starting point....and if you flash forward to the clip below (more specifically a part mid-way through where she is standing in front of a shower of fireworks maybe naked) you will see exactly what my goal for 09 is :)

In order to look like the "Circus" version of Britney vs. "the potato" version, I want to start eating like an adult. I want to forget that ranch dressing and french fries exist in 09. I want the vending machines at work to be removed, and I want to fall in love with working out.
to see what I am referring to watch this:

And by the way, i have no idea why i have written about britney spears so much on here. Yes, I love her but not in a creepy "I wrote 3 blogs about you sort of way" (or at least i didn't think it was like that). She was just the first person I could think of that lost a ton of weight and would have "before" picture easily accessible online.
Crazy imaginary celebrity friendships aside, I also plan to follow the suggestions in "Eat this, Not That." A friend of mine was telling me how her husband lost 30 pounds just by following the easy guidelines in this book. There are a lot of really obvious things like don't get mayo on a sandwich or avoid cheese if you are going to eat a hamburger...but then there are really surprising things like regular bacon is actually better for you than turkey bacon because turkey bacon has almost twice the sodium content! And at panera, one of the best things you can order is a BBQ pizza. How weird is that? I never knew! It isn't a diet - just a book that shows what choices you should be making with the foods you are already eating.
So anyways (like every other year since I turned 19) I will once again be making my New Years resolution to get healthy and trim. We will see what happens, but i thought if I at least documented it on here that i am trying...people could post anonymous comments telling me that i am failing (if i am) and it would be a huge kick in the pants to actually follow through .Just kidding, i don't like random mean strangers. I am sensitive.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!
Pat and Katie

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Top 10 Reasons I HATE Winter

( No clue why i have been posting such heinous looking pictures of myself lately, but i thought this one was funny and appropriate) :)
  1. It is beyond depressing to have to stay indoors at all times.
  2. You get fat becasue you have to stay indoors, and when you do, nothing sounds better than eating really thick soups and crock pot dinners.
  3. Snow friendly shoes are so ugly....not for everyone, but when you are hugely tall -like myself - the cute tall heels and boots tend to make me look like a tranny lumberjack woman ( i am definitely more in favor of flipflops and flats year round)
  4. My skin is seriously albino right now and becasue of the lack of pigment I overcompensate with makeup (especially bronzer) - then the light changes and I realize that i look like a clown.
  5. My skin is so dry I can't even stand it. Baby oil, body butter, straight Vitamin E oil.....nothing does the trick.
  6. My lips are corpse-like which forces me to turn to Carmex (which I hate becasue it tastes like death and has crack like qualities) . You can't use it just once. Even though it momentarily fixes my chapped lips I also have my suspicions that it is the cause too. Just like crack, it makes you feel good - but then once the "feel good" wares off it start s to chap your lips even more so you just keep applying it over and over again - all the while blaming the weather when it is also probably the lip balm brand I picked....see - JUST like crack!
  7. You are never the right temperature. When I watch the news and get dressed in the morning it is hard to put anything other than a huge sweater on and even though I know the heat will be pumping at ridiculous levels at work I still can't fathom the walk from the parking lot without the sweater.....so then i sit in my desk miserable, hot, and itchy until lunch time or when i go home for the day when (once again) I will be freezing to the point of convulsions. It sucks.
  8. When you live in a wintery place like Ohio people think it is fun to tell you (over and over and over again) how warm it is where they are living. My parents are especially guilty of this. Most of our phone calls go something like this: katie "hey mom....my car door is frozen shut - weird huh?" mom: "yeah that is weird. I am just finishing up golf because I need to swing by the beach and go out on the boat later in my tank top." katie: "sweet. FML"
  9. No one comes to visit you. Who ever (myself included) has taken a vacation to a snowy place that does not include skiing or snowboarding?
  10. It is SOOOOOOOO long. The cold never seems to end. October through May I am cold, chapped, dry, clownish and lumberjacky. ewww.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Fun & Cheap Christmas present idea

When my mom was teaching sixth grade she used to make jars of hot chocolate mix with her class so that the students would have something to give their parents (or whoever) . They always turned out really cute and the parents loved them. Eventually, we started giving out the homemade mix to our neighbors also. The recipe is delish - it is seriously the best hot chocolate ever, and it is really inexpensive to make so i thought i would post it.

Even if you don't put it in the jars and pass it out - it is a great thing to stash in a tupperware in your kitchen.....for a day when it is i dunno 12 BELOW ZERO LIKE TODAY!!!

Hot Cocoa Mix

1 pound jar Coffee Mate
1 pound can Nestle Quik
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
8 quart box Carnation Instant Milk
2/3 cup Nestles Cocoa

Mix ingredients. Use 1/3 cup of mix for each 8 oz mug. Add hot water

For 24 + jars
Buy 2 bags (5lb) non fat dry milk
2 – 3lb. 8oz cans nestle Quik
2 – 2lb. 3.3 oz Non Dairy Creamer
1 – 5lb. bag Ambrosia Baking Cocoa
1 – 4lb. bag powdered sugar

2 12 count 1 ½ pt. Kerr Wide mouth jars
Make labels
Material 9” squares

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Just a matter of time....

I saw this picture of myself today and it ruined my life.

I am pretty sure that I got wrinkles the day that I turned 25. FML. Seriously, and I HATE them. For now they are only showing up on my forehead, in between my eyebrows ( my "11's" according to Dr. 90210), and sometimes there is one on the left side of my cheek that sticks around after I have been smiling for too long. Regardless, that is way too many wrinkles for me. I need to get rid of them pronto. I can't figure out if wrinkles can actually "go away" or if they just stay the same once you spend lots of time trying to keep them from getting worse? I am hoping they go away, because even with botox it seems like I am screwed.

Anyways, If you are a very unfortunate 25 year old or a 50+ yr. old, you are reading this blog, and you have the same issue as me- here is my gameplan. None of these ideas seem like they will work but i am still trying...
  • drink more water...maybe my skin is "puckering" becasue it is so dry.
  • use more moisturizer (same reason as above)
  • No more expressing how I feel....facially -No Smiling(Not hard considering I am a wrinkled hag these days), No Scowling (Hard, considering I am a wrinkled hag these days)
  • Wear more sunscreen
  • Put my hand on my forehead and pull until the skin looks relaxed - holding it there until I can breathe again.
  • Wear really tight ponytails
  • Invest in lots of forehead covering hats
  • Cut bangs

I know this is so vain, but I plan to live for a very long time and if the wrinkles are already coming I will be a mess by 40.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Wedding Weekend

My sister Kristen married her boyfriend Jim this weekend in Chicago. It was sooooooo much fun and an absolutely gorgeous wedding. You can see in the pics below how pretty the church and reception site were. The pictures almost don't do them justice- they were seriously tdf. It looked so old school Chicago with all of the beautiful chandeliers, wood work, christmas decorations, and huge fireplaces. I want to go back and just hang out in the room and spend more time talking to everybody that flew in for the weekend. It is amazing how quickly one day can go by.

These pics were sent this morning from Jim's cousin Brian who is a great photographer. I will post some more of my pics later, but i wanted to start with the good ones :)

Here is the giant bridal party- 10 bridesmaids and 2 flower girls

Jim's brother Danny and me - making our grand entrance.

The placecard table

The cake that was GORGEOUS!!!

Cocktail hour

A cool pic of what the reception room looked like.
....and another

Kristen dancing - obvi

Jim and Kristen Dowd
more of the happy couple
So cute!!!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Endorphins and Christmas

I was feeling sort of sorry for myself last night so I tried to resort to 2 fool proof things that I knew would put me in a better mood. Endorphins and Christmas. It was somewhere around 7:30 and i just needed to get out of the house. Despite the ridiculous snow storm outside (only ridiculus becasue in my opinion it is way tooo early for the weather to be this crappy) I headed out dressed in my gym clothes. My first stop was Home Depot. The Garden center was packed with all kinds of fabulous/really cheesy/borderline tacky lawn ornaments. Despite the cheesy tacky factor, I know that i will one day be filling my yard with them making up stories to Pat about how "the kids" couldn't live without a projector deer light show flying across the house (when really it will be me) :)...but that can wait. The best part was definitely the smell of the fresh cut trees. I stood outside and got sort of excited for the first time realizing that i am going to get to have a white Christmas for the first time in my life.

I'm not sure if i am going to go with a real tree or a fake pre-lit tree, but i do know that i am going to go BIG!!! Luckily our apartment has really high ceilings so a 12 foot tree could totally work, but the part I am sort of struggling with is what if when we buy a new house the ceilings aren't quite as high? Then I will be stuck with this huge tree that will have to be set up in my driveway or something????That would suck. And now that i just wrote that, i think i just talked myself into a 9 foot Christmas tree....or a real 12 foot tree!!! Whatever, it just has to be taller than me - by at least a few inches. So anyways, back to last night, I also went to Sam's Club and Lowe's to check out trees. Lowe's was way expensive -Sam's club wasn't. Their trees were nice, but most of them were "slim" and I'm not sure i like that.

So with the christmas portion of my night down I was starting to feeling better. I headed to the gym and planned on working out big time to get my endorphins pumping. As soon as I got there though, i realized i didn't have my headphones in my purse like i thought i did. It always seems like my workout suffer when Kanye and 50 aren't blaring in my ears :).....Nonetheless I made the most of it. I ran on the indoor track. Instead of music I repeated the number of the lap I was on over and over and over and over again. Somewhere around 35-35-35-35-35 I decided it was time to move on to some abs. Eventhough it was freezing outside, I was really hot - and for some reason this made me feel 100 times better.

I am going to remember this mix of activities when winter makes me super depressed in the coming months. It totally helped. There are probably a few other combos that will do the trick too, like: Diamonds and vacation. Orrrrrr shopping and a tan. Orrrrr chocolate cake and a 25 inch waist. Yeah all of those things will be super good for my chi....it almost (almost) makes me excited for the yucky depressing weather and bad nights to come.

This year i am thankful for endorphins and Christmas...can we just skip Thanksgiving and get to it already???

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Girls Weekend / Bachelorette in Florida

A few weeks ago my sister Lauren and I planned a bachelorette party for our other sister Kristen at my parents house in Florida. They live on an island near Tampa Bay and the Gulf so there is a ton of really fun beachy stuff to do. We had 10 girls staying in our house and oddly enough we all (well almost all of us had double names)!! Here are a few highlights from the weekend with Lauren, Lauren, Kristen, Kristen, Jaime, Jaime, Katie, Katie, Madeleine and Theresa!
Katie, Kristen, and Lauren dancing at Billy's - the best little seafood restaurant/beach bar in florida :)
Some of the girls enjoying some Margaritas

We went on a sunset cruise...
All the girls who flew in from all over the place to celebrate
Lauren D, Kristen O, Katie O, Laren O, and Katie D

Madeleine and Lauren D looking for dolphins

Me & Madeleine (note my one sunburned arm - HOTT)

The gorgeous sunset on the Gulf of Mexico.
Beach Day
Group Kayaking
More Kayaking

Back to the house with Theresa Jaime and Jaime.....

....and one more awesome sunset.
This weekend was soooooo much fun.
I Can't wait to plan the next Girl's trip!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's Beginning to Look A lot Like Christmas!

I woke up this morning and saw snow! It was gorgeous and it instantly put me in a very christmas-y mood. Which isn't hard to do when the trees outside look like this. I am such a nerd, but i snapped this picture from my bedroom window just becasue it looked like a giant flocked christmas tree.... Wooo - for the first "sort of" big snow!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

My Weekend

This was a pretty low key weekend for the O'Brien's. Friday night we went out to dinner for some surprisingly delicious Mexican food. Saturday Pat played poker and I stayed home slaving in the kitchen making some fabulous vegetable soup. I included all of my favorites - potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, tomatoes, squash, zuchinni, corn, peas, grated cabbage.....pretty much everything yummy that you could possibly chop up and make soup with.

I was so excited to have some since this was the first really cold weekend in a while where soup just sounded so good. It is definitely one of Pat's favorites - and i'm not going to lie, I like making it becasue I always get a lot of satisfaction with making something that requires a lot of work. Not that soup is hard to make, but it is sort of high maintenance - (i was chopping and seasoning for like an hour).

Anywayyyyyys, Pat didn't come home until way late (which I have learned is a good thing if you are playing poker) so we ended up just meeting out with some friends when he was done....I figured my wonderful soup could just wait until sunday to be eaten when it would probably taste even better. Ummm except that I remembered later that we had already made plans with Pat's family to hang out and then the girls were going to see a matinee of Legally Blonde the Musical. So at about 10:30 Pat's little brother called us and invited us over for lunch before the show......guess what was on the menu???? Yup Vegetable soup. eff. NO Katie soup for us!

Mrs. O'B had no idea that I had also already made the same soup and technically we had already made plans with them for that day sooo we just went to their house and thoroughly enjoyed the soup she had made. Soooo after 2 bowls (lunch and dinner later) for me and 3 bowls of mom soup for Pat we left completely stuffed.

I am reallllly hoping that Pat didn't have his fill on Sunday though because there is still 300lbs of untasted vegetable-delight (compliments of moi) that we have to polish off at home :(

By the way, I did briefly mention that we went to see Legally Blonde The Musical yesterday. Well it deserves way more than a brief mention. It was AWESOME. I seriously loved it. You have never seen more adorable little girls (and homosexual men) all wearing pink holding little "Bruiser Woods' " stuffed animales in their purses!!!! The whole crowd laughed out loud through basically the whole thing and Elle was fabulous. I loved that she didn't try to be anything but the Reese Witherspoon version of Elle that everybody loves. If it comes in to your town - def go see it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I am back from a really awesome weekend in Florida for my sister's bachelorette and I am now trying to play catch-up at work. It is amazing how many more emails I get when i am out of the office vs. a normal work day.

I will post some pictures soon...and hopefully come up with something more interesting to write :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A few things I am thinking about today....

1. I am praying that John McCain is our next president....and if he isn't, I hope that I am happily surprised by what "the other guy" is capable of. 2. I am afraid that there might be scary riots or crazy violent outbursts if the election doesn't go in someones favor (on both sides). 3. I am genuinely hoping that I miraculously drop 10 pounds before my sisters bachelorette party this weekend because most of the festivities will take place on a boat or at the beach.
4. I am also thinking that if I don't happen to lose 10 pounds in the next 24 hours ( or minutes - whatever) that my planned spray tan will somehow miraculously turn me into a Heidi Klum look alike.
5. I am counting on the fact that I am capable of getting all of my work done before I leave work tonight. 6. I am skeptical that I will remember to pack all of the stuff I need to bring to Florida becasue I am the WORST packer of all times and I never have what I need.
7. I am wishing that Thanksgiving will come quickly becasue I can't wait to decorate my house for Christmas. 8. I am praying that someone comes to visit me in Ohio - becasue it has been almost a year and I still haven't had any visitors.
9. I am hoping that my hair (more specifically my roots) turns blonde again because I can't get an appointment before i go out of town and it looks awful.10. I am hoping that this day goes by quickly so I can go VOTE, go fake tanning, go grocery shopping, pack a few things i am supposed to remember for my trip, grow some new blonde hair, hang out with Pat, and hopefully celebrate a republican victory for President....everything that is important in my life today :)

Monday, November 3, 2008

WhY sO SERiouS?

I realized that i have written about my mom, my dad, Lauren, and Kristen recently and I have hardly mentioned my little bro Marty (which is weird becasue i always talk about him... usually because his life is about 100 times more interesting than mine - and probably yours too).

Anyways little Marty just turned 21 this week!!!! This picture is from his latest halloween costume and it was too funny/creepy not to put on here. He did his own makeup (wow) and his hair is pretty much a more green version of what it always looks like (ummm...wow/hmmm?).

I, on the other hand, did not dress up (sad), but i did go out - so as soon as i have a few free minutes i will post highlights from my Halloween weekend in South Bend.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Shout-Out to Dougie Fresh

So my nice little friend Dougie sent me this email note earlier today. It made me laugh...

"Your blog is awesome. I actually checked it, and it was not updated from the last time I read it. Thats when you know you are good. Keep it up. "

Mostly it made me laugh becasue it wasn't until numerous people started to make fun of me for having a blog that i realized anyone was reading it (let alone enjoying it)!!!! I will be sure to post some more nerdy stories and delicious recipes just for you Doug!....oh yeah, and do me a favor and tell Pat that he hasn't been mentioned on here hardly at all. That will make him very happy. Pat is not nearly as enthusiastic about my blogging as you are :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Was this picture a fake? Does my Dad hate me?

My parents went to a costume party this weekend. Apparently they decided to immitate a little bit of "reality" and dressed as the mother and father of the bride. Sounds weird, but if you knew what they have been going through for the last 3 years of my engagement, wedding, and now Kristen's big day you would understand that there is a need for a little bit (okay a lot)of humor. I called my parents probably 10 times a day with some great idea about "water submerged orchids" that i just had to have....and I know Kristen now calls to chat about big bands, flowers, and charter buses for guests too! Whoever would have guesses that this might get old for my wonderful parents? (yes that was sarcasm).
Anyways here is my dad dressed as a "penniless hobo father of the bride" and my mom is well...her fabulous mother-of-the- bride self. Complete with a list of all of the "must-haves" that her daughters have been bugging her about for years now!!!

Love you Dad!....Sorry :)

Seriously, how gorgeous is my mom???
Please note: Lauren, the smart sister has already decided that when she gets married she will be eloping. I now know that my parents love her more for it. I guess i can't blame them now :)

"Appetizer Wars"

Pat is out of town this weekend. He is "checking on our house" in Florida, going to the Jaguars vs. Browns game, and hanging out with all of his old friends. I am a little jealous that i am not there too, but i have been gone so often lately that I am actually happier just to be spending the weekend at home.

His trip to Florida reminded me of my favorite game that I used to play with my friend Mary (who lived in Jacksonville near me, but moved back to Ohio - ironically a few months after i did). Anyways, Mary and i used to have this unspoken game that we would play.... We would totally compete with eachother to see who could make the best appetizer. SERIOUSLY. We didin't admit it for a long time, but in both of our minds we wanted to totally kick the other one's ass with bringing the best appetizer that everyone would be like "wow I soooo need the recipe for this!" I know it is so nuts. Who cares right? WRONG - We so care. I planned recipes all week, Sometimes i even practiced! It got to the point where there would only be like 4 people total hanging out watching a game or something and Mary and I would make like 3 appetizers a piece. Yep 6 appetizers for 4 people. We were out of control.

The guys eventully called us out on it. Called us both "toppers" and becasue it was sooooo true we both laughed it off and decided to continue the contests and still be friends :)

So anyways, I invited Mary over last night for a "girls night" and a surprise appetizer war. I made rumaki (bacon wrapped waterchestnuts) and baked brie with almonds. Guess what Mary made? NOTHING - Ha ha I totally won!!!!!! (P.S. I know she will read this....so again I will just remind you that I WON!!!)....eventhough i'll admit it doesn't feel nearly as good when i am playing unopposed).

Just for fun, here is a recipe for my yummy AppetizerWar Rumaki ( i know i didn't invent this but i am really good at making it and when you add the brown sugar it adds a glaze that is TDF)! So here it is:


1 can whole water chestnuts ( you can also use shrimp, pineapple,dates etc.)
1 package of bacon (fat trimmed, pieces cut in half)
1/2 cup soy sauce (more if you want)
3 T brown sugar (more if you want)
toothpicks soaked in water so they wont burn

Preheat the oven to 450.Take 1 whole waterchestnut and wrap it in a half of a piece of bacon. Hold it together with one of the toothpicks and place it in a pyrex dish or something that will be broiler safe. Repeat until you have used all of the waterchestnuts. Mix the soy sauce and brown sugar. Pour over all of the little rumakis. Let these marinade for an hour or so if you have time. If you want, sprinkle a little extra brown sugar over the top when you are ready to put these in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes (turning the rumakis after 5 minutes). Switch the oven to broil and finish until the bacon is somewhat crispy. Keep a close eye on the broiler...these cook really fast ( and you will have to turn them again during this process too). Spoon a little bit of the remaining sauce over the rumakis once you have removed them from the oven and placed them on a dish to serve.


Not because I don't like Fall.....

This will be the last "i love fall" post. Not because i want it to be, but mostly because it looks like fall is going to come to an abrupt end in Ohio this week. There is a "wintery mix" in the forecast for tommorow through Wednesday and let me tell you "wintery mixes" suck! Think rain, sleet, wind, really bad hair, freezing cold, scary driving.... all around yuckiness.
The weater guys might as well say "the weather will be total crap from now until next summer...which is approximately 7-8 months from now so buckle down and enjoy or just move if you are a fan of sunshine and warmth!"
So since the wintery mix is unavoidable, I decided to make sure that i was going to make the most of the beautiful weather that we have been having. I made Pat come on a walk with me a few days ago and i took a bunch of pictures. Not quite the Bahamas, but this is the weather that has been making me very happy lately :)

The beginning of the trail.

a little bridge

pretty trees (soon to be leafless and covered in ice...boo)

Soooo pretty. I am going to miss you fall.