Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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The Big 3-0

The day has finally arrived. The end. Well, at least the end of my 30 before 30 list. Today is big 3-0 birthday. And despite a sweet first grader (from #10 on my list) guessing this week’s celebratory day to be my 39th (which was better than the first kid’s guess of 80), I am excited! My 30th year was a solid – there was fun, travel, growing, and some major decisions. I did some awesome things to prepare for this day, as is reflected in my list that I spent a little less than 2 years working on. I’d call it a success – crossing off 24 things officially, but unofficially 25 as I am pretty much counting #5 to volunteer for a race – I signed up, I got up and was on my way, and they canceled the race. So we’ll call it 25.

Some that I did not complete simply required more prep than I had time for this year – training for one more triathlon or a bike race – while others just fell off the radar – learning to play my guitar or staying in a nice hotel. But I got to cross off some pretty amazing things: travels (GreeceOhio, & family road trip), running my 4th half marathon and blowing my best time to pieces, eating my way around Atlanta (#11), and loving the outdoors (#1), among many more.

I don’t understand the big deal about 30 (my dad still remembers one of his sisters thinking the world was over turning 30). I’m surrounded by people I love who care about me, I have a job and a great condo, I’m keeping my mind sharp in classes, I have been celebrating all week and I am now on the way to the beach with some of my favorite gals. Thirty, schmirty. This is the best birthday ever!

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Chalk Paint Projects

Pay attention because this is the most DIY you will ever get out of me. I bought a condo about a month ago and have some great pieces of furniture but wanted to update some of it. My brother and sister-in-law recently tried out Annie Sloan Chalk Paint – they loved it and it looked great so I decided to try it out. No sanding, no priming – sounds good to me! They had some leftover Duck Egg Blue color (it doesn’t take much of this to paint anything) which is the color I wanted for my desk anyway, so my mom tested it first on my wine rack when I was out of town one weekend. Easy!

So we plowed on forward. I apologize for the lack of great pictures for the desk – I forgot until we had taken it apart already. But we took it apart, painted it all (2 coats), then waxed it all with the clear wax, and bought new hardware! The wax acts as a sealer though I may go back and use a different sealer on the top since my hot computer sits on top of it. I LOVE how it turned out though.

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Tip #1: we painted inside and I have a dog – somehow little dog hairs kept getting into the paint and wax – so beware. We did my second piece at my parent’s house in the garage and did not have any issues with stuff getting into the paint or wax.

Tip #2: we used a old t-shirt to apply the wax instead of the official Annie Sloan wax brush.

Tip #3: we waited overnight to wax on top of the paint

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Next up: dining room table. I bought this table many years ago off Craigslist. It didn’t fit in my previous apartment, so it’s been in my parent’s basement – hence the no ‘before’ picture of it together – but here are all the pieces.

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After much debate and help from a wonderful woman at Chalk It Up, I decided to go with two colors: Coco for the top and Country Grey for the legs, with dark wax for the detail (getting adventurous). Then she recommended a different sealer for the top since it’s something that will be used a lot.

the goods

the goods

Now none of this would have happened without my mother’s help. She’s a little more DIY-ly inclined than I am. So we took a good part of a weekend and got to work – 2 coats of paint on each piece, letting the paint dry overnight, then my mom clear waxed the legs and we decided to just leave those as they were (no dark wax).

legsbeforeafter

tablebeforeafter

Next we had to figure out a technique for the dark wax. You want to clear wax first, so we did that and let it sit for a couple hours. Then trial and error ensued. The idea is for the dark wax to fill in the detail, then you clear wax away the excess. What worked for us: my mom used a small paint brush (like large art brush size) to put the dark wax on the detail edge, then I came behind with the clear wax and old t-shirt to remove the excess. It actually worked pretty well and I was really happy with how it turned out!

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Lastly we sealed the top with General Finishes topcoat (pictured above) using a foam brush (3 coats). Lots of coats of things overall which is why it was no quick project. Then we got it to my condo and put it together. I LOVE it! We may still paint the legs of my chairs but that’s a project for another weekend. Any other chalk paint experiences out there? Any additional tips? Any questions that I may or may not be able to answer?

Tip #4: it will depend on the project and what look you want, but we used a large art brush to apply the dark wax, then still a t-shirt with the clear wax

Tip #5: don’t use wax on a surface that will be used a lot for different purposes (i.e. hot dishes, sweating glasses, potential spills, etc).

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Plated

I am all about trying new things, especially when it comes to food, and especially if it is simple. I’m sure you’ve seen many different meal delivery programs – from the actual meal being delivered or the ingredients for you to cook yourself – but I’ve never tried one. My coworker, however, had tried and recommended Plated, and they have a great referral program, so I gave it a shot!

You pick the day you want it delivered, then it gives you 9 meal options to choose from. Each meal feeds 2 people and you pick 2 meals (or more). Or if you’re on your own, like me, you get 4 meals out of it! The description tells you what ingredients are included and what you should have yourself (simple things like olive oil, salt, pepper). And each meal is marked by difficulty, so you can keep it easy or challenge yourself!

And then it arrives!! In a cool insulated box with ice packs with everything you need!

it arrives!

it arrives!

all ingredients and detailed recipe cards with pictures

all ingredients and detailed recipe cards with pictures for 2 meals

Everything is even measured out (except for those basics). I thought the difficulty level was appropriate and both meals were delicious.

my first meal - every ingredient measured out

my first meal

meal #1 - meatloaf and broccoli

meal #1 – meatloaf with parmesan roasted broccoli

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ingredients for meal #2

ingredients for meal #2

meal #2: vietnamese caramel fish with vermicelli and bok choy

meal #2: vietnamese caramel fish with vermicelli and bok choy

Interested?? Give it a try! Have questions? Ask away! Want a referral code (2 plates free)? Just let me know!

If you are doing Whole30, you may want to wait to try Plated. If you are doing paleo, it’s probably doable. If you have an allergy, it’s probably doable. You can select, in your food profile, certain ingredients to leave out! It will automatically enroll you in the subscription, but you don’t pay anything for that up front and it will remind you before your card is charged so you can unsubscribe and not be charged.


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Commercial Round Up

I actually like watching football and although I was not really rooting for either team in the Super Bowl this year, I was so glad it was an exciting game – down to the last seconds. But I am no football analyst – I’ll leave that to the pros. I am, however, a connoisseur of commercials. Ok, not really, but that’s normally the other exciting part about the big game. Normally. I know the NFL has gotten a lot of bad press this year, but come. ON! The words that come to mind for this year’s ads: boring, serious, dull, emotional, sentimental. Some of them were cute – but it’s the Super Bowl! Show me the funny!

Anyway, there were a sparse couple that were funny and some sentimental ones that were cute and uplifting. So here’s my top 5. (I know you expect the “Like a Girl” ad to automatically make my list, but I saw that months ago, so I don’t count it as a Super Bowl commercial.)

Runner up: Coca-Cola Make It Happy. It’s cute and has a great message.

5. Nationwide Mindy Kaling (Nationwide’s only non-serious commercial; she’ll always make things funny).

4. Microsoft Braylon O’Neill (not funny but REALLY cool)

3. Snickers Brady Bunch

2. Budweiser puppy – always gonna be at the top. (and the cover of one of my favorite songs is amazing)

1. Liam Neeson Clash of Clans (yes, it’s for an app game, but this is not getting the credit it deserves)

 

But let’s be real – does anything actually beat DANCING SHARKS??


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Cilantro Lime Chicken

This was another easy crock pot recipe I found – but it is very similar to my taco chicken (which should have been obvious). Both are delicious, you just probably don’t want to make them in the same week like I did! Similarly, you can do many things with this chicken once it’s cooked. I served over some zoodles (sauteed and seasoned with chili powder) and with some sweet potatoes – didn’t really go together but I need the sweet potatoes as a was running a 5K the next morning. Enjoy!

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Cilantro-Lime Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 C salsa (I made my own or you can find some without added sugar for Whole30 – read labels!)
  • ~12 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 2 limes (save the rinds)
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • dash or 2 cayenne pepper
  • dash of salt & pepper

Directions

Juice both limes and set the rinds aside.

Place chicken in bottom of crock pot. Add lime juice, chili powder, and salsa.

Tie or band cilantro together. Drop cilantro and lime rinds on top of chicken.

Cook on low 8-10 hours (or high for 6 hours).

When chicken is tender enough, remove the lime rinds and cilantro. Shred the chicken in the pot using two forks.

Stir well and add remaining seasoning. Continue to cook or simmer for about 30 minutes.

[from eatlivegrowpaleo.com]


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Turkey-Zucchini Poppers

For lunch this week I wanted to switch it up a little bit – I can eat salad any time and I typically eat a lot of salads for lunch anyway. I went with a recipe I found that looked fairly easy to make and would last all week: Turkey & Zucchini Poppers. I modified it from One Lovely Life.

They were easy to make – albeit a little messy. But sometimes you just need to get your hands dirty when you’re cooking!

Just do some choppin’ and gratin’

Then some mixin’

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Then some scoopin’

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Then some bakin’ and voila!

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You can also “fry” them but I chose to bake. If I make them again I’ll make them a little larger (more like a meatball), but they are delicious and easy to pack for work to reheat. I’ve been dipping my in salsa – but you can get creative with dips/dressings depending on what your likes, dislikes, and restrictions are!

 

Turkey & Zucchini Poppers

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground turkey (or chicken as the original recipe called for; I already had turkey)
  • 2C grated zucchini, peel on (I think this took 1.5 zucchini but it depends on the size)
  • 2-3 green onion, sliced
  • 3-4 Tbsp. cilantro, minced
  • 1 glove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. cumin (can leave out if you don’t like it)

Directions:

  • Toss everything together. I used my hands to mix it up really well. The mixture will be wet.
  • To bake: drizzle olive oil onto a baking sheet. Scoop meatballs onto the greased pan (I used a Tbsp. to scoop). Drizzle a little more olive oil over the meatballs. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes (or until cooked through).
  • To ‘fry’: Heat a little olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Scoop meatballs into the pan. Cook 8-10 at a time for 5-6 minutes on the first side. Flip and cook another 4-5 minutes or until golden brown and center are cooked through.

 


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New Year, New Look

If you’re the kind of person who catches details, you may have noticed some changes on my blog in the past few weeks. For the new year, I made some updates! Hopefully it will make it a little easier to find specific things you may be looking for. I have a new catchy name – Catching Katy (total credit to Megoirs for that) – and I picked a new theme – it’s pretty and clean and one of my favorite photos from my trip to Greece works perfectly as my header!

I updated my ABOUT page so you can learn a little more about me!

I added a READ page: a quick reference list of the books I’ve read and reviewed

I added an EAT page: a quick reference list of the recipes I’ve posted

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Of course you can still catch up on my 30 before 30 list as I continue to cross items off and you can see my completed 101 in 1001 list if you missed it! Hope you like it!