Saturday, December 27, 2008


The holidays are the hardest time of the year to have food allergies. Everywhere I look, there are food traps.

I'm technically allergic to about 12 foods. The biggies are wheat, corn, soy and dairy. When I eat these foods, my body basically says, "screw you" and gives me two days of severe swelling (second trimester-style), fatigue and moodiness.

Does that mean I don't cheat? Honestly, no. After two years of this, I've learned what my body can't and really can't do.

Enter the holidays though, and miraculously, my threshold for pain increases. My mother-in-law makes sugar cookies that I affectionately call "crack cocaine." They make my gut so darn miserable but does that stop me from eating five? Nope.

It's pathetic. I know. But to quote John (Cougar) Mellencamp, it hurts so good! I dream all year of these processed-sugar monsters. But after five minutes of yum, it's always two days of Tums.

Does anyone have a Christmas cookie recipe -- that tastes good -- sans the wheat, corn, soy or dairy? If so, please send it to me. Today. In fact, why don't you overnight it.

Friday, December 19, 2008


I've never been a dress girl. Ever since Leslie O. announced in my 7th grade English class that I looked terrible in dresses, I've been hesitant to wear em'. As a tall chick who could never find pants, you'd think dresses would be a staple. But, in the back of my mind, there was always Leslie's voice.

Recently, though, my eyes were opened to the wonderful world that is dresses. This was in part to finally finding a pair of boots that would zip over my monster calves. (Thanks, Dad. I wanted your legs. Really.) And, a self-talk of, "Self, Leslie's probably in prison, a guest on 'Jerry Springer Live' or lives in a trailer down by the river. It's time to move on!"

Now, I can't wait to wear dresses. I'm obsessed with finding the perfect pair of tights to wear with my wide-calf boots. There's a lot of treadmill miles logged on those wide-calves so I refuse to feel bad about them. And, I'm enjoying it when people say, "I don't think I've ever seen you in a dress."

It feels good to move on ... 20 years later.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Greatest Hits, Volume 1

I'm often asked by the two people who read this blog (thanks mom and dad), which are the most popular entries.

That got me thinking: I need a greatest hits list. I know, don't you have to have a hit to have a greatest hit? But, as calculated by me, these entries have generated the greatest response.

1. For the love of Geese. Hands down, the blog I get the most feedback on. If you're a stay-at-home or working mom, you can probably relate.

2. Super! Perfect for after Thanksgiving, this entry details my thought process after learning my hubby weighs less than me.

3. When Glam Girls Camp. If you're a girly-girl, you'll cringe. This blog recaps our family hiking trip to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back.

4. Bravo, Tim Gunn. You might think I'm a stalker after reading this letter to Tim Gunn where I ask, okay, beg him to be my friend.

5. Financial Summit. I wrote this last entry to vent but I've been surprised to see it's actually helped some.

Enjoy these entries recapping the last two years. And, thanks for letting me share my take.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

From the mind of a small biz owner

As the leaders of the big three automakers descended on Washington last week to beg for government -- rather, taxpayer -- funds, one thought kept surfacing: What about me?

It's selfish. I know. But, what about me? The small business owner who doesn't have an executive dining room but reinvests nearly every dime she makes back into her business.

The auto execs flew to Washington on private jets. Is this the part where I'm supposed to feel sorry for them? Where I'm supposed to dig deep in my pockets so they don't have to fly home coach?

This is not easy stuff. I know that. Thousands of retired autoworkers who gave their lives to these companies now rely on them for pensions and health insurance. And, all of sudden, they're at-risk.

But, when does it stop? First, it was Fannie and Freddie. Now, it's cars. If I, or any other US small business goes out, will the government bust out its white cape and save us? Or, will it be up to us to navigate the downside of capitalism and entrepreneurship?

I think I know the answer. And, the auto companies should be held to the same standard.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Why should I believe you?

I was a huge fan of Tim Russert. I watched politicians on all sides of the aisle sweat under the hot lights of his show. He was thorough. Did his research and I perceived him as fair.

After his death, I was really impressed with the poise his son, Luke, showed. Clearly he's intelligent, mature and well-spoken.

But, is he qualified to be a political commentator for MSNBC? I saw him on the cable outlet this week discussing which states the presidential candidates were likely to win. Does he really know the answer or did some MSNBC staffer feed him the data?

I know this happens in newsrooms across the country. Journalists can't be expected to know everything. But, what makes me bristle is the fact he's being painted as an expert. Luke just graduated from college in May with a degree in history and communications. Is he really qualified to speak with authority on the presidential election?

I'm not slamming Luke for being young. I wish him success. And, if he aspires, I hope he reaches the level his dad did. But, his lack of experience raises a good question: In an era of bloggers and a 24-hour news cycle, at what point do we take a critical eye to the experience of those reporting "news?"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Duh, Dyson

Dear Dyson:
This may shock you but it's not 1952. And men, they vacuum too!

So, why, in your ad I saw last night while getting my "Friends" fix, does it only show women vacuuming? And, here's another shocker: Most women (people) don't vacuum in heels.

For a company that touts the latest in vacuum technology, it seems you have an antiquated view.

Gotta run. The boss is calling. Time to get his coffee and pick up the dry cleaning.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

You're so lame, you probably think this song is about you.

A special thanks to Carly Simon for that song and to Ryan for reminding me that it's a "sequins dress" not a "sequence dress." (See Revelations)

I'm so lame.

(Regardless of how you spell it, I still want the dress. And, I will wear it to Home Depot.)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Undecided Network

For the five Americans left who have yet to make up their minds about the presidential election, I have a proposal.

Let's create a special cable channel called The Undecided Network. At TUN, these five folks can listen to as much rhetoric and watch as many political ads as they can stomach.

And, the rest of us can get on with our lives.


Last night's Tina Turner concert revealed one thing to me: I need a sequence dress. Not want. Need.

I already have the high heels and red lipstick. I just need the dress.

Where would I wear it? Church. Jiffy Lube. The library. Home Depot. Everywhere.

I need a sequence dress.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ice, Ice, Baby

This is a few days old but it's still driving me nuts.

On Thursday's "Grey's Anatomy" season premier, a major part of the storyline was the weather.

Three women and three men were in separate car accidents due to icy roads.

Sandra Oh's character, Cristina, slipped on a patch of ice and was impaled by an icicle.

The writers knew the season premier was in September, right? My quick check to showed it was 67 degrees in Seattle on Friday.

Was it strange to anyone else to have ice play such a major part in a September premier?

I'm sure the writers could have created something else to impale Sandra Oh. Meredith's incessant babble about moving in with McDreamy would have made me stab myself.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Live from New York

I just returned from the spring market in NYC. It was a blast. Totally exhausting. But, it's always fun to see what's next in fashion.

The influence of the 1960s and 70s could definitely be felt. And, one phrase could sum up the styles for spring 2009: opposite ends of the spectrum. Bold colors and prints were used. But, so were neutrals. Short, dresses with straight silhouettes were dominant. But, so were long dresses skimming the floor.

From a tall chick perspective, if you have great legs, the short dress is for you. They typically hit above the knee so it's your chance to show off your killer calves. (Or, in my case, kankles.) As always, the challenge will be finding the short dress in an appropriate length.

The long "maxi" dress is another story. They make me pause. There's a lot of risk associated with something that looks so comfortable and easy. My advice here: use discretion. They're supposed to hit at the ankle on "normal" women so the risk for tall chicks is they'll hit at the dreaded mid-calf. Also, these dresses look best on women who are really thin. So, if you're like me and could stand to lose a few, this may not be the trend for you.

Goodbye, Wave

What happened to the wave?

I'm not talking about the hello or goodbye wave. Or, the stadium wave.

I'm talking about the wave. The one you give on the road when another driver lets you in.

When did it become okay to not show your appreciation to fellow motorists?

I always give the wave. In fact, I probably over wave.

We should bring back the wave.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Human Nature

As I listened to the news reports predicting the destructive path of hurricane Ike, I kept asking myself, why won't those people leave? City officials say it's a grim situation. Why won't they leave?

Fast forward to last night. It's 6 p.m. and the tornado sirens are blaring in Kansas City. What are my hubby and I doing? Deciding where to go for dinner. Yes, as in, the tornado sirens are screaming, all you can find on TV are meterologists telling you to take cover, and we're about to drive somewhere to eat. Genius!

Is it fair to be frustrated with the people of Galveston when I was about to embark on my own last supper of sorts? How can I slight them for disregarding government warnings when I was deliberately ignoring the siren designed to protect me?

Even my mom refuses to go to the basement when the tornado sirens sound. And, it's not like her basement is a dungeon. It's finished with a huge flat screen TV and DVD player. Insetad, she insists on remaining on the top floor of her home, near glass and windows, doing what she wants to do.

We used to live in the burbs. And, I swear, nothing started a block party faster than tornado sirens. It went something like this: Severe storm. Greenish sky. Tornado siren. Neighbors outside looking at the sky. Neighbors outside looking at the sky with beers in their hands.

Are we really that different than those who choose to wait out Katrina, Ike or the next big storm?

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Can you hear that? It's the sound of me kicking and screaming.

Vests. They're back for fall. And, I wish this trend would die. Like knickers.

(I don't know who made knickers mainstream in the 80s but they need a good thump in the head. Can you hear that brainstorm? "I have an idea. Let's provide women with corduroy bottoms that make their hips look bigger. Brilliant!")

But I digress.

I wore vests in the 80s. I even made one in my 7th grade sewing class. My mom saved it but I won't be busting it out for fall.

I don't like wearing menswear. Ever. My aversion stems from being forced to wear it when I was younger because there were no other options for tall chicks. And, I know vests have been updated to fit women but they were still designed for men.

This is me crossing my arms. No vests for me.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I Disagree.

Jimmy Carter should be ashamed of himself.

In an interview with USA Today, the former president said that John McCain is "milking every possible drop of advantage" from his time in a Vietnamese prison.


John McCain spent 5.5 years as a POW. It's my understanding that he can no longer lift his arms above his head because of the torture methods he was subjected to while in captivity.

Regardless of your party affiliation, don't you think someone who spent more than 5 years in captivity for his country has earned the right to talk about the experience whenever he pleases?

You're better than that, Jimmy Carter.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


The other night while watching the Olympics, rowing came on. I started to change the channel before deciding I should support a lesser-viewed sport.

I'm so glad I didn't turn the channel. I finally saw what I've been waiting for the entire Olympics.

After winning gold (yah-hoo!), the American rowers were presented with their medals. When the national anthem played, they started to sing along.


I didn't see Michael Phelps, in all his awesome-ness, utter one line of the national anthem in seven or eight chances. These chicks got one moment of glory and they were totally rockin' it out.

Go rowers. You have a new fan.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Can we talk about Michael Phelps' swim trunks?

I'm not talking about the full-body Speedo that's supposed to make him faster. I'm talking about when he just wears the bottoms.

Those bottoms are looooowwww. As in, one wrong move and he'll be swimming with an extra fin, kind of low....

Friday, August 8, 2008


I love the Olympics. I mean I looooovvveee the Olympics. I once reviewed the list of Olympic sports just to see if I could compete in something. Anything. Sadly, my fencing skills aren't what they used to be. And, being 6'2, the gymnastics leotard was a little short in the crotch.

Every time I hear the Olympic theme song I get tears in my eyes. I've actually considered putting it on my iPod. The games represent such grit, determination and sacrifice. Can you imagine training every day of your life for four years just for one chance to compete?

I'm a sucker for those Bob Costas feature stories where they show the obstacles the athlete has overcome for just one chance to win. I have to fan myself to tone down the tears.

I attended the Olympics in Atlanta and remember it as an incredibly fun time. People from every corner of the world were milling about in Centennial Park. We were all friends and neighbors at that point. It was a refreshing change from today's seemingly hostile international scene.

My hubby doesn't care for the Olympics. Sigh. He has to be a Communist. How can you not want to watch Carl Lewis or Flo Jo? How can you not well up when Kerri Strug lands on one foot to seal the gold? If anything, how can you not want to watch those sand volleyball players in their tiny uniforms?

To all the Olympic athletes: You make America proud. God bless you.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Teribl Txtr

We're announcing a program for clients where they can sign up to receive information about sales, new items, etc., via text.

This is laughable to me because I am a terrible texter. I mean, teribl txtr. I don't excel at this techno art for a few reasons.

First, I have two-ton thumbs. Seriously, my thumbs are enormous. They don't make the numbers on a phone or crackberry big enough for these whoppers. I wear a size 14 shoe. What's the likelihood of me having dainty hands?

Next, I'm s-l-o-w. I have friends who can text all of "War and Peace" before I can get through, "c u soon."

Finally, and I know this is nerdy, but the whole text vernacular and lingo doesn't jive with me. It's okay to spell words wrong. Punctuation is an after-thought. And, sentences don't require a subject and a verb.

If we find a misspelling on, it literally haunts me for days. The thought of doing it intentionally makes me bristle. And, I happen to like punctuation!!!!!!

I was a little resistant to IM when it was introduced and now I love it. So, I expect my attitude about texting will change, too. Just know if you send me a text, it make take a while to get a response from Two-Ton.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Xhausted with XM Again

I've expressed my disdain for XM Radio in a previous blog so I won't bore you with the drama again.

Bottom-line: After months of trying to get the darn service to work, we finally terminated our dysfunctional relationship with XM. XM and Kat broke up. For good. For ever.

Today, I was greeted by a promotional email in my in-box from XM. Hooray! It was like that long-lost boyfriend you never want to hear from.

I promptly went to the bottom of the screen so I could opt-out of future love notes of the sort. To my surprise, there was no way to opt out, but there was this special message:

"Please note that you may receive service email in accordance with your XM Satellite Radio Customer Agreement, whether or not you elect to receive promotional email."

What? So even if I've indicated I never, ever want to hear from you again, (and I have) they're still going to email me?

Dear XM: Your homework tonight is to research the meaning of the word SPAM. And, I don't mean the canned meat.

I wish you could see the face I'm making at the computer right now.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Sucker for Seersucker

Seersucker is one of those great summer fabrics that keeps you cool while looking great. And, while I love wearing seersucker, it also reminds me of one of my most embarrassing moments.

Two years ago, my niece Grace was baptized. And, as her godmother, (I know, fancy title!) I was asked to stand at the front of the church as the priest did his thing. Knowing I would be "on stage" of sorts, I decided a new outfit was justified.

Grace was baptized in May so it seemed the perfect time to buy a seersucker suit. I found a pink and white one that I paired with white heels. On the morning of the baptism, I put on my fancy new outfit and prepared to strut. This was going to be one stylish baptism.

This is the part of the story where my brother, Grace's dad, starts yelling. Some might say I was a little bit late to the ceremony. Let's just say that I walked in as the priest was walking down the aisle to start the mass...and I was supposed to be walking with him. My bro was not happy with me. (Did he not see my seersucker suit?)

Anyhow, the mass goes on without a hitch. We join my family for a reception afterward and then head home. Since I'd only worn the suit a few hours, I decided to hang it up and wear it the next day to work. As I'm changing my clothes, I realize it's a bit drafty in my pants. Imagine my horror when I realized I'd split my pants at some point during the ceremony.

Split my pants. And, I'm not talking by an inch. Let's just say I had the full smile. I SO owe the person behind me in church an apology. They're probably still paying that therapy bill.

Sigh. Hair flip. I know, not everyone can be as cool as me.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dream Jobs

Do you have a dream job? I have a list. Don't get me wrong, running and working in the fashion industry rocks. But, it's fun to dream. If life were different, here's what I'd do:

--NASCAR driver. One look at my driving record and you'd believe it. I enjoy going fast. Also, the movie "Talladega Nights" is one of my faves. That dinner scene is hilarious.
--Lancome make-up lady. Honesty time: I don't want to give other people makeovers, I just want the free samples.
--Photographer for Sports Illustrated. I love sports. All of them. Sans golf. I want to be on the sidelines capturing the cover shot.
--Professional swimmer. It's the one sport I wish I'd never quit. For cryin' out loud, I'm 6'2. One stroke and I'm halfway across the pool. Plus, I could eat a lot.
--Talk show host. You mean you'll pay me to talk? Done.
--Chef. I don't like to cook but I heart "Iron Chef America." I want to be a chef just so I can be on that show. And, so I can chop vegetables really fast.

Fess up, friends. What's your dream job?

Monday, June 16, 2008

When Glam Girls Camp

I subscribe to the "pamper not camper" school of thought. A night under the stars with crickets? Gag. Four star hotel with spa? I'm in! But, a recent family hiking trip to the bottom of the Grand Canyon stole the girliness right out of me and made me a full-fledged park ranger sans the moss green outfit.

My sister and sister-in-law, two other self-professed girlie-girls, were also on the trip. During the course of our three-day, 105-degree excursion we found ourselves doing things we'd never do at home, such as:

--Tolerating it when the guide says, "Nice jugs!" and he's not referring to the water bottles around your waist.
--Using my brother's Pert Plus shampoo. (I honestly think If my hair could talk, it would have freaked out.)
--Using soap from a public dispenser on our faces. (I'm sure it's anti-aging.)
--Wearing so much sunscreen we looked like recent graduates of clown college.
--Engaging in public urination and the practice of "drip dry."
--Carrying my dad's dirty "drawers." (Don't ask. The therapist said it's best if I don't talk about it.)
--Saying, "Cool! A rattlesnake!" (I still can't believe I said that.)
--Eating summer sausage and liking it.
--Pouring creek water over our heads. (No germs there!)

Since returning home, I've had to continuously remind myself that it's not okay to wear dirty socks. And, I still find myself thinking, "That would be a good bush for...."

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Today I received some super news. And, I mean super!

My husband revealed that he now weighs less than me. Isn't that super!?

That little bombshell prompted the following internal monologue:

"I must be preggers...or, I bet it's that new weight routine. Yes, yes, it must be all muscle. And, I'm really big boned....Or, I need to take my shoes off when I weigh. Yes, and my jeans. And, all my jewelry and my socks....Why did I eat five cookies last night? @$%&!"

The ol' self-esteem took a little hit after I learned my feet were bigger than his. But, after a few sessions of talking to myself in the mirror saying, "I'm good enough. I'm strong enough and gosh darn it, people like me," I was able to move on.

But now here I sit shoving almonds in my mouth jealous of the fact that he spends 30 minutes on an elliptical machine, eats an entire medium pizza and abracadabra, he's 20 pounds lighter. While, Saint Me works out 6-7 days a week, eats right and still doesn't have to carry a spare tire in my trunk because there's one around my waist.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Do the Dew

As I ordered my third Diet Coke at lunch with a friend this week, I had to listen to the dreaded lecture on the evils of diet soda.

Eye roll. Sigh. Can't I drink my beloved carbonated goodness in peace?

I workout. I don't smoke. I've never done drugs and I rarely drink. (The uncontrollable crying is apparently a turnoff.)

So, I don't care if soda makes you crave sweets. I don't care if it breaks down my bone density. But, I do care if Sonic has Route 44s at half price during happy hour!

Did somebody say diet cherry limeade?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Saynora, Kankles!

I don't like to cook. But, I love the Food network. I could spend my Saturdays watching "Iron Chef America." (Can they really chop that fast? It's like NASCAR when they change the tires. Why can't they change my oil that fast?)

One of my fave Food network shows is, "Throwdown with Bobby Flay." On this culinary barn burner, Flay challenges chefs across the country to making their signature dishes.

The point of this blog? I'm issuing a fashion throwdown. The subject? Capri pants.

Here's the challenge: Join me in having a capri-free summer. Fashion gurus say there's not one body style these "pants" flatter. Not one. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

So, why do we have them in our closets? Regardless of our height, they hit us mid-calf and make our legs look wider.

I don't know about you but the last thing my "kankles" need is another 20 pounds. So, I've donated my capris to charity. Instead, I'm wearing skirts and dresses, which are just as easy to throw on, keep me just as cool AND don't accentuate my kankles.

Remember, just because it's in style, doesn't mean we wear it. So join me in saying goodbye to your capri pants and hello to longer, leaner lines. Your kankles will thank you for it.

Friday, May 9, 2008

My Business Partner

The best part about owning is doing something I couldn't have done ten years ago: be in business with my mom.

Ten years ago I wouldn't have recognized the experience she brings to the table after a 35-year career. Ten years ago I wouldn't have wanted her opinion and I definitely wouldn't have acted on it. Ten years ago I knew better than she did.

Ten years later she's the first person I call. Ten years later she's making my dream come true. Ten years later she goes to Beijing for eight days and I'm lost. Ten years later I'm realizing what a tool I was ten years ago.

Happy Mother's Day, B. Here's to the next ten years.

Monday, May 5, 2008


Everybody needs a Jody.

She's the writer of and to sum it up, she rocks.

While lunching last week, she told me about a scholarship she started at her old high school. She pledged $1,000 to a senior English student selected by the administration. It turns out Jody received a similar scholarship when she was an English student there. And, without it, she wouldn't have gone to college.

Be a Jody.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Time for a New Message

I recently attended a women's leadership conference featuring a former female elected official as the keynote speaker. I couldn't wait to be regaled with war stories from the campaign trail and intense policy negotiations.

Instead, she focused on the challenges of being a female in a male-dominated field.

Bor-ing. Stop me if you've heard that one before.

Wouldn't a better message be if we want men to stop singling us out for being women, we should stop singling out ourselves?

Can we agree to stop playing the gender card? As intelligent, confident women, we have other aces up our sleeves.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

For the Love of Geese

For the last two years I've dedicated most of my time to launching a business. I wanted to start a company for two reasons: First, being 6'2, the clothing options are pretty sparse. I believed I could do better. Second, I wanted Julie and Katie to be able to fulfill their dreams.

Julie is my sister-in-law. The mother of Grace, one of my nieces whom I adore. Only, when you ask Grace her name, she says, "Geese," because at age 2, she hasn't quite mastered the letter "r." Julie had a career for many years before becoming a stay-at-home mom. I sense Julie misses her professional self but doesn't want Grace in daycare. So, she's put her career goals on hold until Grace is a little older.

Katie is one of my oldest and dearest friends. We met at basketball practice when we were 14. She's an accountant, and I love her like a sister. Katie has two sweet, sweet kiddos. Each day, she gets them dressed, fed and to daycare before 8 a.m., so she can be at her desk on time. She gives the company nine good hours, picks up the kids, feeds them, bathes them, reads to them, only to do it all over again the next day. I'm exhausted just writing about it. I truly don't know how she does it with a smile on her face. And, she always has a smile.

I love and admire Julie and Katie but I don't want to be faced with their decision: Stay home and put the career goals on hold or continue working and find the best sitter. The truth is, I'm not sure if I'll have children. But if I do, I want the best of both worlds: the ability to decide where I spend my time that day, whether it's with my children or at the office. And, since the lottery isn't working out for me, there was only one way to make it possible: become my own boss.

A lot of entrepreneurs gauge their success on achieving financial goals. We're a little different at KAT. I'll know the company has made it when Katie is working from home to balance our books, and Julie is on staff and able to bring Grace to the office when she needs to. They'll both be fulfilling their dreams as involved moms, while applying their professional experience at a company dedicated to helping women feel good about themselves.

I can't think of a better example to set for my special Geese.