.
I've decided to take an indefinite break from Scathingly Brilliant, twitter and instagram. If you're interested in keeping up with my art & projects, I'll still be blogging regularly on my portfolio blog here. Otherwise, thank you for a super fun almost-five years!

xo Kate


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I've gone mad


Somehow I ended up watching the first episode of Mad Men the other day, and I'm now totally and completely hooked. Currently I'm on the last episode of the second season & I have season 3 downloading so I can watch it next. I don't know why I wasn't watching this ages ago!

A few thoughts (SPOILERS if you haven't watched seasons 1 and 2!): My favorites so far are definitely Betty and Peggy, and I really liked Fred so I was sad when he had to leave (but I'm hoping maybe he'll come back??) Also, as cruel as she is I also like Joan but it might just be the fact that I'm so tickled pink to see that all the men at the office think a curvy girl is pretty. It gives me hope :) I've also always had a little crush on John Slattery so I'm thrilled that he's a regular, and panicked quite a bit when his health declined in the first season. I think Duck is *perfect* for a show about the 60's since he reminds me so much of Gig Young in movies like That Touch of Mink. His voice especially. But I totally stopped liking his character when he let his dog loose outside the building. It saddens me that the people on the show don't seem to have much of a sense of humor, but considering the fact that I just watched about 30 episodes of Friends last week I'm not lacking in the comedy department right now. Pete Campbell was the most annoying person ever in the first few episodes, but he doesn't bother me as much now. Except that he always looks like he's wearing lipstick and I can't seem to take my mind off that when he's in a scene.

And two of my favorite things about the show are minor cast members -- Robert Morse (aka the star of one of my favorite movies, The Loved One) is the "Cooper" in Sterling Cooper. If I had known this I would have been watching a long time ago. Also, Marshall Darling (aka Clarissa's dad from Clarissa Explains it All!!) plays Pete Campbell's father in law. Any CEIA cast member sightings always make me very happy :)

And of course, I wouldn't be me if I didn't bring up the clothes. THE CLOTHES. *squeals* Can I raid Betty Draper's closet please??

I want to try to get caught up to the current episodes so I can start watching them on AMC when they air, but I'm not sure how to watch the season 4 episodes that have already aired... if anyone knows where you can see them online (for free) please let me know :D

*

Oh, and here's a better picture of my new haircut after I actually styled it :)

linguine and zucchini with walnut and white bean sauce



Sometimes when your cabinets are nearly empty, and you're forced to cook with whatever happens to be lying around, you end up with the best new recipes! I concocted this one this morning out of some pasta, walnuts, beans and zucchini. Here's what I did:

Cut up two small zucchini into thin slices, and sautee in some olive oil and garlic. While that's cooking, put water on to boil for the pasta.

Combine:
1/2 c. walnuts
1/2 c. small white beans
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. water
2 tsp. chopped garlic
some parsley
some basil

Mix in a food processor until it turns into a paste. When the zucchini and pasta are done cooking, toss with some of the sauce and eat it up! This made a considerable amount of sauce so I put about two thirds of it in the fridge to use later... but it was SO delicious I'll probably be tapping into the supply for dinner tonight as well :)

ta da!


a quick not-so-great photo, but I just wanted to show how SHORT it is! I actually wanted it to be a little longer (about an inch or so) but my mom cut it uneven and had to keep chopping off more to make it straight, lol :) I ended up laughing so hard while she was cutting it that she had to stop or else it would have been even more crooked! But I like it now, and it's just going to be SO much easier to brush and shampoo. Plus, I won't keep thinking that something is crawling on my shoulder when my ponytail touches my skin (I'm really jumpy)...

goodbye hair. it's been fun.

The price of having long locks (painfully knotty like you can't even imagine) is just too much... my mom is chopping it off when she comes home for her lunch break this afternoon. I've had a nice two or three months of really long hair, and I've definitely enjoyed it. But to me, it just isn't worth crying every time I have to brush it :( Goodbye long hair!!

on the lam in the laundry room


I had just plopped myself down on the couch with my fresh bowl of chickpeas and tomatoes. I had only woken about 20 minutes beforehand, and my hair was tied back in frizzy day-old braids, topped off with an Aunt Jemima style kerchief securing the whole mess in place. In plaid pajama bottoms and an over sized sweatshirt, with a box of tissues positioned never more than one foot away from my grasp, I felt almost as bad as I looked.

Before I had a chance to get but one spoonful of food into my mouth, the doorbell rang.

It should be noted here that our doorbell rarely rings, especially on a Sunday. On a weekday, it's automatically assumed that UPS rang the bell, and the door-answering duties are left up to my dad. But this was a Sunday. And my grandmother had already been over for coffee in the morning and left. When you take her and UPS off the list of possible visitors, you're left with an empty page.

My brother went to the door while my mom and I exchanged anxious glances. Our house looked like a tornado had just blown through, and I looked like I had been sucked in and spit out during the storm. Neither of us wanted anyone to see the wreckage.. she meant the house, I meant me.

So my brother opened the door, and who would it be but an old family friend that hadn't visited in about 10 years. The last time she saw me, I was a little pre-teen with straight A's who was properly dressed and showered. So in a fit of panic, not wanting to ruin this image of me as a clean little girl by letting her see me in all my sick, pajamed, hair-kerchiefed glory, I grabbed my tomatoes and chickpeas and made a beeline for the laundry room.

The laundry room is right next to the kitchen, where our guest was invited to sit down. I knew I'd be in there for a while when I heard my mom offer coffee, so I had to find a way to quietly sit down. In the tiny room, my only option for getting comfortable without making noise was to slowly descend into the empty laundry basket sitting on the floor.

So there I sat, in a laundry basket in the dark laundry room for 3o minutes without making a peep. Me, my pajamas, my day old braids, my chickpeas and my tomatoes.

a taste of nostalgia



When I was a kid, my parents took me to work with them every day. They owned a mail order t-shirt business, and every once in a while my dad would take me with him to the post office down the street. Next door was a little Italian bakery that sold the most delicious brownies I've ever tasted in my life. My dad treating me to those brownies on our post office adventures is one of the really special memories that I've cherished for as long as I can remember.

When I was about eight, the bakery closed and I never got to have the brownies again. But I think about them from time to time, remembering not just how delicious they were but how special I felt when my dad would buy one for me.

For the last week or so I've been craving these sandwich butter cookies that look like leaves with chocolate spread in between them. So today my mom took me out to a local bakery to buy some -- but they didn't have any. We then proceeded to the post office so that I could mail my Flapper Doodle packages. While in the parking lot, we noticed a bakery that we'd never been to before, so we decided we'd try them for the cookies.

In the most beautiful twist of fate EVER, it turns out that it's the same bakery from my childhood!! They just moved!!! We always thought they had closed, but there they were, right across from the new post office that I've been going to for months. And they had the brownies. THEY HAD THE BROWNIES.

It's amazing how certain sights, tastes and scents can trigger really deep memories that you never would have thought about on your own. Right now, I'm just floating on a little cloud of nostalgia and childhood, enjoying all of the memories that came swirling back to me at the mere sight of this brownie.

invisible


Been feeling very invisible, detached and lonely lately... hoping we can get our move going soon... I really need a change and some new surroundings.

the light... it burns!


dress - H&M
sweater - f21
belt - f21

It doesn't happen often, but I thought I looked amazing today when I looked in the mirror.. my hair looked nice, makeup came out great and I was happy with the clothes. Then I took my picture :-\ Anyone else have this problem? You look SO good in the mirror, but then once you take a picture it's like what the HECK happened?! I'm convinced that my face must look best mirrored, since the only self-portraits I like are taken with photo booth, which flips your image, and my reflection in the mirror always looks so much better than I do on camera. Am I just crazy or does anyone else feel the same way??

*

I actually went to bed last night at 11pm (though, sadly, I fell asleep before Dirk Bogarde even showed his lovely face in So Long at the Fair... I was THAT tired) and woke up, astoundingly, at 6:30am!! But this whole daylight thing is going to take some getting used to. My eyes are burning, and I don't know if it's from the glaring light beaming in through my windows or the fact that I'm still majorly sleep deprived.

getting dressed in the morning


dress - f21
headband - f21
scowl - homemade

I've been getting about zero hours sleep lately, and when I *do* sleep it's been in the morning or afternoon into early evening. It's insane. I realized that my chronic sleep problems might be due in part to the fact that I work from home and have no set schedule for waking and sleeping and living. So, today when I woke up at 1:45 am (seriously. UGH.) I decided to get dressed, eat breakfast and stay awake all day until about 9 or 10 at night, and then -- get this, when it's actually dark out! -- I'll put pajamas on and go to sleep. I know, crazy, right? Who lives like this?!

Anyway, so I was actually dressed all day which is something unusual for me. And I'm going to do it every day now. woo hoo. I'm hoping that the whole wake-up-at-a-normal-time-get-dressed-then-work routine will help me get to bed at a reasonable time each night and actually fall asleep and stay asleep.

If you've made it this far, yay for you! I have no clue why you're still reading this, since I'm obviously writing it half-consciously. Part of my brain is off dreaming, and that's the part that usually writes these things. It has no clue what this half is doing or saying and probably won't approve of the boring post when it finally wakes up from its daydreams and reads what was posted here...

zucchini and tomato tart


The meals I cook are almost all really simple and require very few ingredients... this is due in part to the fact that we usually don't have much food in the house, and also because I'm a really picky eater and will only cook with a limited number of foods. In this recipe, there are only five ingredients, but I think it's one of the most flavorful dishes I make.

I adapted this from a recipe I got when I was on Weight Watchers in 2007. The original recipe called for ricotta cheese, yellow squash and pepper but I went a much simpler route.

Just slice up a couple zucchini and spread them in a single layer on greased cookie sheets. Give them a quick spray of olive oil and cook for 20 minutes at 350'. While they're in the oven thaw out a pie crust (I use Oronoque Orchards) and slice up a couple of tomatoes into thin slices. Spread them in an even layer on a greased cookie sheet and spray some olive oil. When the zucchini is finished, turn up the temperature to 375' and insert the pie crust and tomatoes. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Fill the pie crust with the zucchini and tomato, sprinkle some rosemary and salt on top and cook for another 5-10 minutes. If your crust is already looking golden, you might want to cover the edges with tin foil to keep them from burning. And that's it!

This recipe was one of my weaknesses when I was on weight watchers. You were supposed to have 1/8 of a pie as your serving size, and I liked the recipe so much that I used to make a pie for my family and a pie for myself! Obviously the whole "losing weight" thing didn't really work with the way I followed the plan! ;-D

ode to eyeliner










Ever since my mom first gave me the OK to purchase makeup in the 8th grade, I've been obsessed with eyeliner. I don't wear foundation or powder or lipstick or gloss but you'll never catch me walking out of the house without eyeliner. In fact, you'll never catch me walking around my house without eyeliner. It's part of my daily routine -- brush hair, brush teeth, wash face, apply eyeliner.

I love it in all of its many forms. The thin outline, the thick cat-eye, the oft-derided raccoon-eye and the kohl-rimmed goth look. I love it in colors, black and brown. I love liquid liner, pencil liner and crayon liner. I love it, I love it, I love it.

My family has gotten used to this obsession. They make nothing of seeing me at breakfast with a little black line running along my top lid, then seeing me at dinner with a thick black outline circling my entire eyeball. When my cat jumps up on the countertop in my powder room for a drink of water, I just can't help myself.. while I'm waiting, I play around with eyeliner.

And I don't care if it looks "unnatural". In my opinion, that's not what makeup is for. Some people might use it to just add subtle accents to what's already there, but I look at my eyes as just another canvas to paint on. I've gotten so used to adding a thick black line to my upper lid that I don't feel like "me" unless it's there. I'm even thinking of getting it tattooed on permanently one of these days... but then that would take away the fun of painting myself every morning :)

I don't know about most girls, but the only reason I apply eyeliner is because I like the way it looks. I don't do it because society has taught me to wear makeup or because I want to snatch a man (there are better ways of doing that, I'm sure.) I do it because it makes me feel more confident, more snazzy, more unique and more like myself.

I think of eyeliner as clothes for the eyes. Would you walk out of the house without a shirt on? No? Well, I wouldn't walk out of the house without eyeliner.

Well, I wouldn't walk out of the house without a shirt either, but I think that was understood.