Category Archives: Krazy Kat

Making Stuff Happen – My 101 in 1001

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I was minding my own business the other day, when the reality that in about 550 days I will turn 30. That doesn’t bother me (yet). But, it suddenly occurred to me that my life is passing by and I’m not taking the time to make stuff happen.

By stuff, I mean the guts of life. Gaining self-discipline, nurturing passions, and self-educating (since my school days are long-gone). I’ve seen a few people on the internet create these 101 in 1001 lists – listing 101 things they want to accomplish in 1001 days. It’s more like a well-thought-out, fruit-producing bucket list concept.

In 1001 days I will be 31 years ago. Many people say their 30s are their favorite decade, and I’m (truly) looking forward to them. (But not a day before they arrive!) I’d like to embark on the next decade of my life with a few things under my belt, be them successes, failures, passions, skills, or simply things I want from life.

In 1001 days I will say to myself, “I made stuff happen!”

(And of course I’m publishing it here because nothing motivated me like publicly stating a goal – or 101 of them.)

Kat’s 101 in 1001

Personal

  1. Go to before by 10:00pm every day for 2 weeks
  2. Wake up at 6:00am every morning for 2 weeks
  3. Sign up for a 10k
  4. Try a Bikram Yoga class
  5. Run 8 miles without stopping
  6. Go hiking in the White Mountains
  7. Take an online class in something I enjoy
  8. Learn handlettering
  9. Organize music and get rid of CDs Finished April 2014
  10. Create and maintain an address book
  11. Learn a skill that I don’t know
  12. Edit together our wedding video

Cooking

  1. Learn to can food
  2. Make bread from scratch
  3. Plant a vegetable garden
  4. Make my own granola
  5. Learn the art of making a great cup of coffee
  6. Find the perfect waffle recipe
  7. Make my own pizza dough
  8. Experiment making 10 new flavors of homemade ice cream
  9. Successfully replicate a homemade version of Uno’s “The Cookie”

Spiritual

  1. Daily devotionals for 1 month straight
  2. Get involved in a ministry I feel passionate about
  3. Do one pro-bono design job
  4. Reread all works by C.S. Lewis
  5. Attend one weekend retreat

Writing

  1. Write a short novel
  2. Write and illustrate a children’s story
  3. Write one piece of fan fiction
  4. Start and complete a 1001 gifts journal Started April 2014
  5. Write to 10 of my favorite writers and ask for their advice

DIY

  1. Restore Granna’s steamer trunk
  2. Install board and batten
  3. Learn how to tile
  4. Learn metal stamping
  5. Learn to use 5 new power tools
  6. Make my own candles
  7. Try glass etching
  8. Learn to crochet (and actually make something)
  9. Sew a patchwork quilt
  10. Sew something I can actually wear

Boston

  1. Go candlepin bowling
  2. Buy a book from the outdoor Brattle St Bookshop
  3. Visit Castle Island
  4. Go to SOWA
  5. Attend Boston Marathon Attended April 2014
  6. Attend Head of the Charles
  7. Organize a girls “bakery crawl”
  8. Walk the whole Freedom Trail
  9. Eat at Upstairs on the Square
  10. FINALLY go to a Red Sox Game at Fenway
  11. Sam Adams Brewery Tour

Massachusetts / New England

  1. Spend an afternoon at the Worcester Art Museum
  2. Visit Newport (and go inside the mansions this time)
  3. Go to the seaglass beach in Maine
  4. Visit Martha’s Vineyard
  5. Go to polo match at Myopia
  6. Go to Brimfield Antique Market
  7. Explore 5 nearby towns I’ve never been
  8. Explore the South Shore
  9. Go to Block Island
  10. Visit a cranberry bog (in season)

Travel

  1. Take a weekend trip with my Mom
  2. Girls weekend in Stone Harbor
  3. Visit Brian in DC Finished April 2014
  4. Visit Colls in FL
  5. Go somewhere I’ve never been

Just for Fun

  1. Attend two concerts
  2. See the Phantom of the Opera
  3. Host a fancy girly brunch
  4. Host a fall BBQ
  5. Host a seafood bake
  6. Host a salt water taffy pull
  7. Go camping
  8. Take a dancing class
  9. Read 5 classics I haven’t read before
  10. Participate in a book club
  11. Learn to sail
  12. Go Wine Tasting in the Finger Lakes
  13. Learn to Water Ski on 1 ski
  14. Go swing and salsa dancing
  15. Buy one piece of original artwork that I love
  16. Visit three new art museums
  17. Take a pottery class
  18. Find a perfume I love and buy it

Marriage

  1. (Finally) finish reading the Meaning of Marriage together
  2. Start playing tennis together
  3. Attempt to learn how to play golf
  4. Buy fishing equipment and go fishing
  5. Start a family memories book

Blogger/Design

  1. Update personal freelance website
  2. Update/organize my design portfolio
  3. Redesign blog
  4. Transfer to WordPress self-hosted
  5. Start an editorial calendar and stick to it (for at least a month)
  6. Attend 6 blogger events
  7. Launch an Etsy shop
  8. Learn about aperture and iOS on my camera
  9. Start painting again
  10. Find and complete 8 freelance design jobs

What to Wear When Cross-Country Skiing

Now that we have our second year of cross-country skiing under our belt, I can say with 100% confidence that we love cross-country skiing! I grew up x-c skiing in gym class (that’s upstate New York for you) but hadn’t picked it up as an adult until last year. Having a winter activity makes brutally cold weekends so much more fun!

Why am I telling you this now? When we’re getting our first glimmers of spring? It’s not because I am disorganized, but because now is the time all the equipment is on clearance. If you are interested in cross-country skiing next year, consider looking now!

When we first bought our skis I wasn’t quite sure what to wear to accommodate the cold weather and keep me the right temperature. I think I’ve got it figured out now – so I thought I’d share the wealth. Without further ado, what to wear when cross-country skiing:

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1. Women’s Soft Shell Jacket

This particular jacket is a North Face, I have an EMS. I love my fleece-lined soft shell jacket. It’s warm enough to keep me bundled (even on 0 degree days!) and the side ventilation zippers (basically a huge arm-pit zipper) easily let you cool down when you’re feeling too warm.

2. Ankle-Zip Water-Resistant Pants

You will want some type of water-resistant athletic pants. I recommend getting pants with zippers on the ankles so you can zip them down over your boots. These are Swix Universal Pants.

3. Ear Warmers – I made mine from this tutorial at Delia Creates

I prefer ear warmers or a headband to a hat, but maybe that’s just me. I usually don’t bother with a scarf or a heavy hat because you will be too warm! If it’s a particularly windy day I will bring a scarf to help block the wind from my face.

4. Cuddl Duds Top

Whatever you do, don’t wear cotton! Cotton will soak up your sweat and then make you cold.

5. Women’s Rossignol® X5 FW Ski Boots

I have these boots from L.L. Bean and I love them! They are fleece lined, and have a top that zips together over the laces to prevent snow from getting inside. With these and my ankle-zip pants, I have never gotten snow inside my boots!

6. Fleece lined leggings

Under my water-resistant pants I wear fleece lined leggings for warmth. These shown are Anne Klein. I got mine from T.J. Maxx. (High heels optional – haha!)

7. SmartWool Snowflake Fair Isle Socks

Warm socks. Sometimes I double up. SmartWool socks are always great. Although not cheap.

8. Agloves ® Original Touchscreen Gloves

I have these smart phone gloves and I love them! They have metal strands knitted throughout the glove so there is no special touch-point on your fingertip. I am always whipping out my phone to take pictures of the beautiful snowy landscape, so I like to ski with these gloves on.

Do you cross-country ski? Any tips for me? I am still learning!

Introducing Design Lively

Lately I’ve decided that I need a bit of a change around here. That change will come in the form of a new name – Design Lively.

Maybe you’ll be sad to see “Withywindle” go – I am too! Maybe you’re relieved because you still haven’t figured out how to pronounce it – in which case, you aren’t the only one! 🙂

Lively – Derivative of living. Energetic, vigorous, animated. Imparting spirit or vivacity. Full of life.

I hope you agree that this represents what I want to express in my projects/writing/ideas. In the near future I will be moving this site over to http://www.designlively.com.

I’ll be sure to announce it when I do! I would hate to lose all my lovely WordPress subscribers, so I’ll make sure to make a secondary announcement before the move.

In the meantime, things will probably get a little helter skelter around here – both in terms of graphics and technicality.

And thanks again for making writing so much fun.

: ) Kat

Tips On Staying Warm in Chilly Winter

I am one of those people who have ice cube hands and toes.

I still remember being in elementary school gym class for the square dancing classes, and one of the boys wincing as we do-si-do-ed because of my frigid fingers. (Better than sweaty grossness, right?)

These days the only person I torture with my cold hands and feet is stuck with me for all time, poor guy.

This is all to say, I really like to be warm. And New England isn’t exactly the warmest place to be for six months out of the year.

With tomorrow’s looming blizzard upon us, I’m dedicating today’s post to my favorite staying-warm techniques.

Fleece Lined Tights

I saw a pair of these at Marshall’s and bought them on a whim. (Anne Klein brand fleece-lined tights) I tried them on later that night and literally pranced around the house. I vaguely recall exhortations coming out of my mouth. Something along the lines of “MY LEGS ARE LITERALLY IN HEAVEN,” but the joy at the moment was so overwhelming I can’t remember for sure.

I returned to the store two days later (what if they were sold out? – the horror!) and bought a pair in every color. And I bought some for my sister-in-law, a coldie like me.

Tea and Soups

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I’ve never met a cup of tea I didn’t like. In the winter I usually ditch my pretty, daintier cups and go for the big fatties. The more tea the better.

Starbucks mugs usually are my go-to, they can hold a mighty large cup of tea, or even a can of soup!

And homemade soup is always best.

But I have tried the new line of soups that Campbell’s Soup put out, and I must admit they are quite tasty. (The Chicken and Quinoa and the Chorizo with Poblano Peppers were my favorite two.

Slippers. Warm ones.

I believe I have spoken of my love for these L.L. Bean Hearthside Slippers before.

Moose gave me a pair about five years ago and I’ve never looked back. They are warm and toasty, and so comfortable you will find yourself wearing them to the grocery store because you didn’t realize you weren’t wearing real shoes. (True story.)

The thick rubber sole is sure to last a while – and when it finally does run out, L.L. Bean guarantees their products for life, so you can just turn them in for a new pair.

Electric Blanket


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I turn this on 15 minutes before I get in bed so it’s nice and warm! Nothing is worse than cold sheets.

Just don’t forget to turn it off before you fall asleep.

And if you do forget to turn it off, not only could it be a fire hazard, but it also makes getting out of bed in the morning 1000x harder.

Cuddleduds – aka Long Underwear


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I always hated long underwear. And then one year a pair of Cuddleduds appeared for me underneath the Christmas tree. They are so warm and comfortable! And thin enough to wear underneath another outfit if needed. They come in a variety of necklines, arm lengths and fabric choices – the options are endless. And they are so WARM!

Space Heater


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We own several space heaters. I have a small one at my desk at work and I have this cutie-pie that looks like a coal-stove too. It gets moved around the house.

We have a construction-style space heater that connects to a propane tank, which gets used while we’re working in the garage or in the (formerly!) uninsulated family room.

We ALSO have one in our bathroom fan. Husband of mine, I love you forever for installing this. Nothing is worse than getting out of the shower in the middle of winter and touching the cold tile floor. Bathroom ceiling fan heater for the win!

A Lumberjack Hat


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I’m sorry to say that I own this hat. And I’m even sorrier to say that I wear it every single morning on my way to work.

You’ll look semi-ridiculous, but you will be so warm you won’t even care. And other people will think you look like you’re about to take down a grizzly, but they will also be jealous because they can’t feel their ears, or their nose, or their face.

I also like this hat, because it doesn’t give me hat-hair for the rest of the day, or leave with with an imprint on my forehead. I got mine from the Christmas Tree Shoppe, and it was worth every penny.