Posted in February 2013

Kate’s Dates: My foolproof dating … don’ts

Kates-Dates-newBy Kate Richlin-Zack

Budding relationships are intoxicating: the chemistry, the excitement, the potential. It’s fantastic. The problem is, you can’t think straight. You end up making stupid decisions – Of course I want to fly to Vegas and elope! We’ll just introduce you to my family when we get back. Or you let the uncertainty drive you crazy – It’s been 2 hours and he hasn’t responded to any of my 17 text messages. Sure it’s Wed at 2pm but he couldn’t possibly be in a meeting or doing anything work-related during regular working hours. He must be hooking up with a co-worker.

Before you go blowing your chances completely, here are a few things to keep in mind as your new romance begins to blossom.

Don’t be so eager to be “exclusive”
You just met this guy. Sure he seems great but they all seem great in the first few weeks. They’re always “the one” and you’re so excited to tell everyone all about him because in your fool head you’ve already picked your wedding gown and the names for your unborn children. He just doesn’t know it yet. I get it. But how many times have you run your mouth about how AMAZING your new boyfriend is only to find out a few weeks later he hit on your best friend or has someone locked in his basement. Slow down and diversify your love life for a while. You should be dating no less than three guys at the same time. I’m not saying sleep with all of them, but until you really get to know them, keep your options open. And be honest. Tell them you’re “seeing other people” because quite frankly, if he’s that into you, he’ll waste no time bringing up the exclusivity topic. You should never have to initiate the where-are-we/what-are-we discussion. Any man who’s serious about you will make sure you know EXACTLY where you stand.

Don’t sleep with him right away
If it looks like a duck… Continue reading

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Fabri-Kate: Easy, quick, and uniquely yours – DIY earring holder

DSCF2595By Kathleen Neafsey

February is nearly over!  Short month, so short project — this is, by far, the easiest project that I’ve done!  The supply list is also super-short … two items, to be precise! Here’s the background on how this came to be: I’ve had this earring holder; I don’t know where it came from or how it ever made it into my house, but I have it.

Neither of my daughters claims to have ever owned it, but one day I came across it and I needed one, so I started to use it. As you can see by the photo, it’s pretty juvenile, but it served a purpose, sadly, I went with it.  For years I’ve been saying that I’m going to replace it, but haven’t found anything that I liked enough. I’m finally at the point where I just can’t stand looking at it anymore, and have been on the hunt for something new, so I’ve been scouring DIY blogs for inspiration.  Who knew there could be so many variations of earring holders?! Here’s the one I chose because it looked simple, and can be easily adapted to match your style and decor.

Continue reading

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Captainess Kirk: In honor of World Spay Day (Feb. 26)

Captainess KirkBy Kathleen  S. Kirk

(Warning: Warm and cuddly PSA in anecdotal form to follow.)

I’m going to tell you a story about someone very important to me. This person is my personal assistant, my dear friend, my late-night footwarmer, and sometimes my garbage disposal. And no, I’m not talking about my boyfriend.

I’m talking about my cat, who, by serendipitous accident came into my life and made herself at home. She was a shelter cat, precisely the kind of animal that World Spay Day spotlights. Wonderful companions like her are euthanized daily because of overcrowding in shelters.

But I’m sure you’ve heard it all before. I know I have. So allow me to just tell you about the amazing cat in my life, the product of a shelter, and how we all came to be.

It was only four months ago that I found myself adopted by a cat. But it wasn’t just any cat I was adopted by a beautiful kitten named Britta, who looked to be, by all outward appearances,a perfectly normal little girl. Continue reading

My CompliKAITed Life: A Year in Review


By Kaitlin Marie

This February has provided me with multiple milestones. On top of turning 25, February 1st marked the anniversary of my return home from Costa Rica, and today is my 1 year anniversary at my job. A lot can happen in a year, and a lot has happened to me. Failed job interviews, apartment-related hijinks, weight gain, moving out of my parents’ house, job frustration. I’ve documented a lot of my frustrations and misadventures here on Kate-Book, but one of the things I write about most is my job and the myriad disappointments and annoyances it has caused.

But I do really, truly want to say something: I don’t hate my job.

I work with some really wonderful people and the company I work for cares deeply about their employees. When I accepted this position, I honestly thought it would be a transition job and that I would be quitting to move on to something better in a matter of months. I had a lot of job angst, and I felt particularly over-qualified for my position (and I still do sometimes, and I probably am over-qualified. But that doesn’t mean this job is beneath me. I don’t believe there’s a job that exists that is “beneath me”)

It sounds strange, but this is the first job I’ve had where I worked full time for an entire year. I’ve had a number of part time jobs, summer jobs, and internships but I never worked a full year for any of them. And even in Costa Rica, I held 2 different positions, but only for about 6 months each. So like it or not, this job-iversary is a big deal for me.

In a way, it represents my continuing transition into adulthood. This is my “big kid job”. Continue reading

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The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Health and Fitness: Set Backs…



by Kate Richlin-Zack

I got off track last week.

I’ve been so good about sticking to my diet and counting all my “macros” (carbs, fat, protein) and planning my meals and then one afternoon, I just had to shove as much food as I possibly could into my face. I wasn’t even hungry, which makes it even more disappointing. Maybe I was back to my old self-destructive eat-the-pain-away habits, but how can I even THINK about using that excuse to justify my behavior when there is no pain to eat away in the first place? My life is awesome, so what the hell am I upset about?

Great question and the short answer is: change is hard… really hard.

Let me first explain that when it comes to my diet for the next couple months, I’m allowed to eat anything I want. Yes. Anything. My only limitations are the amount of protein, carbs, and fat (“macronutrients”) I can consume on a given day. Right now my diet is pretty consistent with the paleo diet – lean meats, lots of vegetables, limited dairy, and complex carbohydrates like whole fruits, plain oatmeal, and yams. If I wanted to, I could fulfill my daily carb quota with Fruit Roll-Ups, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and french fries but I don’t for two reasons: Continue reading

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Adventures in Greening: contemplations in Giving Stuff Up


By Catherine Moran

As many of you may know, Lent began on February 13. For many practicing Christians, this translates to fasting, or “giving something up.” Going without meat on Fridays is a popular example.

While I am not a practicing Catholic any longer, I was for some time, so picking something to go without for 40 days is not a new concept to me. However, my parents, who are both open-minded, loving people, put a bit of a different spin on Lent. Rather than give something up (my sister and I didn’t watch tv during the week, nor did we eat lots of junk food, which were the two most popular things to “give up” during Lent for my classmates in middle school), my parents would suggest, each year, that we do something extra, be it an act of kindness toward someone, or volunteering our time after school to help clean up the library. This concept of doing something extra has stuck with me since childhood. I try to incorporate that mentality into my everyday life, and not just confine it to a proscribed period of time. Why should I not go out of my way to be kind to people every day? And doing something extra strikes me as a better use of my energy than being sad that I can’t eat chocolate for 40 days (though this is in no way of judgment of people who do sacrifice something that they enjoy as an expression of their religion.)

That said, I do feel as if I am participating in Lent this year, as I continue to try to purchase fewer plastic items.

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Trivia: Safe Haven

Safe Haven Movie Banner

By Kate E. Stephenson

The flu bug caught me last week and has been nibbling on me since last Saturday. So what can you do when you’re sick in bed—Watch tv. FiOS has loved me this week. My television has been on keeping me company for the past 216 hours straight. The first four days of my fevered existence left me less than observant. I just allowed the sound and images to wash over me as I tried not to cough up both my lungs. But after about the fiftieth time watching the same commercial a name finally sunk in… Katie.

Safe Haven, Katie

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Dear Kate: I’m Single in NYC and I hate Valentine’s Day. What should I do to make it less annoying to be alone tonight?

Dear-Kate-column-identityBy Katharine Luckinbill

Dear Kate,

I am single, I live in New York City and Valentine’s Day is the only day of the year that I hate this city. What do I do to avoid the awful crowds of kissing couples everywhere I go this year? If I see one more stuffed bear and chocolate rose I’m going to throw up on someone.


Out of Love Lucy


Dear Our of Love Lucy,

Girl. I hear ya. Even though I have now joined the hoards of vomit-inducing love couples – I was single for a very long time before that and every year I dreaded Valentine’s Day. It seemed like everyone I knew was married, engaged, had a boyfriend or already had a date. I found myself thinking, “How is this possible? Where do they all find each other? Am I the only single person left in the WORLD?”

Of course I wasn’t, there were droves of other Valentine’s singles brooding about the holiday the same as I was. There was also another group, a group I hadn’t yet been introduced to, the “I Hate Valentine’s Day So Let’s All Get Together and Party” party. This bunch was awesome. A whole other mindset and approach towards this Hallmark holiday.

So awesome, in fact, that there are now super events organized all around the city just for them!

Here are some ideas for how to spend your Valentine’s Day in the big city without a date:

Continue reading

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Kate’s Dates: On Valentine’s Day


by Kate Richlin-Zack

Truth be told, I love Valentine’s Day. I shouldn’t considering the crappy ones I’ve had in the past. But I do.

The problem with admitting it’s one of my favorite holidays is I’m in the minority and more importantly, no one gives a crap. Sadly, most people are pretty jaded when it comes to Valentine’s Day. But it wasn’t always that way. If you think about it, there was a time when Valentine’s Day was fun and it was exactly what you wanted it to be. Granted, it was in elementary school but you have to admit you enjoyed it.

We dug up an old shoe box, wrapped it in red construction paper, and adorned it with heart shaped doilies and stickers. Lots of stickers. I remember my mom helping me cut a slit in the top – apparently my father couldn’t be trusted with an Xacto knife and let’s just say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The week leading up to Valentine’s Day, we’d all secretly put our Charlie Brown or My Little Pony themed cards into everyone’s boxes. And you had to make a Valentine for everyone, even the smelly kid because that was just the right thing to do.

Can we just go back to that? Forget the elaborate heart shaped boxes of chocolate, the long stemmed roses, and the barrage of jewelry commercials. Not everyone is getting engaged, Neil Lane!  And seriously, what’s the deal with Cupid? Who let’s a little kid run around half naked wielding a bow and arrow? Is someone calling child services?

The problem with Valentine’s Day is there’s entirely too much goddamned pressure for no good goddamned reason. You’re almost guaranteed an awful experience. But fear not, there are ways around it. Continue reading

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Kathleen’s Kitchen: Healthy, Asian-inspired meatballs

Kathleen's Kitchen #3 Asian turkey meatballs 013

By  Kathleen Neafsey

Let me start off by saying this is not my recipe – I’ve adapted it, and made it my own, but it did not start out as such. I walked into my nephew’s house one day to find his stunning wife, Brittany, preparing dinner for that evening and making these yummy, Asian-inspired meatballs.  Brittany passed along the original recipe, which can be found at  That being said, and all disclaimers aside, let’s start with the ingredients:

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Captainess Kirk: The Russian Kate

Captainess Kirkby Kathleen S. Kirk

From a young age, I was very used to responding to variations of my name. I was called Katherine and Katelyn, Kathy and Kate, and everything else in between, and I always took it in stride. It was never very difficult to weed out what I might be called or how someone might interpret my name.

Then I began a relationship with my Militantly Nerdy Boyfriend Alex, an odd hybrid of Russian strappings and vibrant American patriotism. He was born in the Soviet Union and immigrated with his parents at the age of three, becoming a naturalized American and even joining the military. When he’s not using terms of endearment for me, my name gets shortened to an affectionate “Kath.”

I suppose this was the warning sign I should’ve looked for, but everything else was going so well in our relationship that I hardly spent much time dwelling on it. However, by the time I met his grandparents, I knew I had fallen haplessly into a bottomless pit of foreign moniker confusion.

Alex had, at my request, told his whole family that they could call me Katya, since “Kathleen” has sounds that don’t exist in Russian, especially that difficult “th”. I don’t think I have ever been called Katya once, though.

When I first met Alex’s grandparents, his grandfather, beaming at us, announced that he would call me Kate. Alex explained later, amidst the broken English, that his grandfather felt he was being more respectful to me by translating Katya back into English again and calling me an English name, even if he couldn’t pronounce my actual name.

Eventually they became comfortable calling me “Ketlin”, which is essentially the Russian pronunciation of “Kathleen.” But that is when the floodgates opened, so to speak. I started thinking of it as a game, and in the beginning it actually was kind of funny, if not even fun.

I had always gone by “Kathleen,” or “Katie” around family, but now I also learned to prick my ears at the sound of a “Kath,” “Kate,” or “Ketlin.” Soon “Ketlin” bifurcated and I found I also had to listen for “Ketrin.”

Now, this may not seem too terrible, and it wasn’t, in English, but I usually was trying to listen for my name amidst a flurry of Russian, a language full of that hard K sound. My ears were constantly primed for anything that sounded similar.  Continue reading

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My CompliKAITed Life: On the Weirdness of Turning 25

25So this Monday was my 25th birthday, and even though I’ve had a few days to mull it over, I still haven’t decided how I feel about the big 2-5. In the last month or two leading up to this birthday, I felt kind of nostalgic. 25 is the last milestone birthday of your YOUTH, and even though most people don’t consider 30 to be old, it’s still a profoundly ADULT age. 30 year olds are supposed to have careers and marriages and mortgages, right? At least in your twenties, your maturity and sense of accomplishment have some wiggle room. Space for mistakes. Time for growth. But my twenties are halfway over now, and I don’t see any mortgages in my near future.

Growing up is weird. I’ve always felt young because I WAS young, and even though in the back of my mind, I knew one day I’d be as old as my grandparents, it’s very hard to relate to that age. It seems so far away. But now suddenly I’m 25 and I’m sort of starting to notice that time never STOPS and the years will just keep coming and I’ll keep getting older. I’ve always known this, but I didn’t really realize it until recently. I guess I thought there would be a Pause button, but I haven’t found it yet.

Turning 25 is like accidentally missing the last stair step. It’s that mini-heart attack you have when you think you’re about to fall, but then you don’t.

When you’re in high school and college, the world sort of revolves around you–not just in your own mind, but in a societal sense as well. Our culture idolizes youth and puts it on a pedastal, and a huge chunk of advertising, movies, music, and television are all geared to that 16-22 year old age group. And once you grow out of that group, it’s almost as if you’ve been kicked out of a special club. You’ve lived through high school and college and experienced all of the good and bad times that go with that chapter of growing up. You’re ready to move on, but you can’t help but feel as if you’ve lost something.

I know I’m not the only twenty-something who feels a bit lost. The recent success of shows like HBO’s Girls and blogs like “Fuck! I’m in my Twenties” proves that this is a slippery time of life, and those of us experiencing it feel under-represented in the media.


This quarter-century birthday has also been a bit of a reality check.  Continue reading

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