fitsmug foodsmug recaps shillsmug

STUFT Mama: You don’t know STUFT.

Hamcats, I’m a little worried that some of you seem to have some next-level superpowers. You ask for a better introduction to Stuft and her blog, and the lady who can’t remember how far she ran yesterday drops in with:

Someone asked me recently how I got into blogging

What telepathy! What fortune! What a perfect excuse for me to be lazy!

and I don’t even really know.

But as they say, where a door closes, a browser window opens.

Once upon a timing chip (links are via Google Cache), Stuft was a PE teacher and part-time fitness instructor. Depending on whether you read the 2011 or the 2013 version of the story, she either (a) had a sad but sadly normal unhappy relationship with food and weight, or (b) ate SO MUCH and SO OUT OF CONTROL that it was totally bulimia and compulsive overeating disorder, you guys. (Before you yell at me for being insensitive–go ask an anorexic what constitutes a “binge.” I’ll wait here for the bulimia survivors to stop laughing hysterically.) By her own account, her miracle pregnancy changed everything:

My mindset changed…I was focused on eating for health rather than eating to lose weight. I exercised to FEEL GOOD rather than to burn off all the “junk food” I had eaten previously or because I “had” to.

That’s so awesome! Especially with all the social pressue on women to be fit throughout pregnancy and get back to “pre-baby” weight immediately afterw–

I continued teaching [fitness] classes until I was about 7 months pregnant

Um.

Throughout my entire pregnancy I was living my dream. I wanted to be that pregnant lady that kept running.

Dream big, tiger.

When my doctor pulled the plug on my running, I still kept active using the elliptical

Stuft quickly and unsurprisingly discovered that it was impossible to balance newborn twins, a full-time job, and teaching fitness classes and hobby running. Southern California has a high cost of living and the number of Stufts had recently doubled, so her decision was clear–

So here I am, living my dream with my own business, teaching fitness classes.

The Internet debut of Stuft Mama, small business owner, came in mid-2010 as she announced her weekly boot camp and strollercize classes on her “STUFT Fitness” blog. And honestly? The site is peppy and kind of cute–by all accounts of undercover 00hamcats, Stuft is a good fitness instructor, as long as she can focus on teaching the class instead of burning her own calories. So what made her, in April 2011, “really passionate” about giving up her entrepreneurial dream to write a blog starring her disorder herself? Well, two things:

1. She ran her first marathon in January 2011 and got addicted (I do not use that word lightly) to racing.

2.

I’ve managed to gain some weight the past couple of months (stopping breast-feeding, finishing marathon training, etc.). I weigh more now that I did 2 weeks after giving birth to my twins (I was back at my pre-pregnancy weight.) I have a goal weight I’m working towards.

I’m sorry, “healthy living” blog?

Introducing herself on her new blog, Stuft prophetically noted:

It’s weird not having an upcoming race in the next month or so. I’m already feeling a little restless

and

I’m going to attempt to sleep in tomorrow. I tried this morning, but was up on the treadmill at 6 am

And, in “things you can’t make up,” her first real entry recaps a half marathon where she went out too fast, hit the wall at mile 9, and bonked.

Stuft, I think, wants her story to be how becoming a mama rescued her from a lifetime of disordered eating. That is not the story she tells–and more importantly, that is not the story her sons are going to discover when they read her blog in 6-7 years.

Back in the present! Despite her apparent inability to read her own blog archives to answer a reader’s question, Stuft has been feeling surprisingly introspective recently.

STUFT Daddy and did [sic] some seriously life decision talking

Fortunately, one of the great things about personal blogging is the chance to gain valuable perspective and advice from people who want to see you succeed, so–share with us, Stuft!

But don’t you remember how you started your blog, promising “to share the good and the bad?”

It can’t be that hard to share.

all this life business stuff I have going on in my head.

Remember how you wanted to “document my journey”?

I have been so busy with life stuff and other things

How “I promised myself that I would share everything on this blog”?

the whole life getting busy and hectic and needing more attention thing

especially with all the other life happenings that have been going on.

Every now and then, though, even Stuft is capable of introspection.

I always think about goals and say I should do some or really work towards them or not stay up late to get things done, etc. But it’s FINALLY time to do it already.

Yes! Congratulations! So tell us, Stuft! What are your goals? How are you “doing it already”?

I got this new Believe Journal

Oh.

I bit the bullet and ordered one of the famous Erin Condren life planners.

You go, girl.

I’m actually really wanting the teacher planner now

In fact, the Stufts really are facing some upcoming changes. The Wonder Brothers start kindergarten next year (they are currently in twice-a-week part-time preschool), so I guess it’s time for Stuft to start thinking about whether she’ll go back to work?

I want to be ready to really train the right way for some big races coming up in 2015.

Yes, I’m sure your husband who works multiple jobs that still don’t suffice to air condition your house in a SoCal summer would be very appreciative if you actually trained for the marathons that you fly across the country to run.

Stuft did say something genuinely promising, though:

I did get motivated last night to look at what kind of training plan I’m going to use leading up to the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge [running the Boston Marathon and then six days later running the Big Sur/Pacific Coast Highway Marathon].

For those of us who see in Stuft a runner with a decent amount of natural talent and a fucking superheroic ability to avoid the injuries you can’t run through (a.k.a. how the sweet baby Beavis has she never had a stress fracture?), this is exciting news! It is very clear–finally to Stuft as well–that burning ALL THE CALORIES running ALL THE MILES and teaching ALL THE CLASSES with no recovery days does not make her faster.

Runners who *do* want to get faster generally follow a training plan that leads up to a goal race. Marathoners especially can choose from a number of battle-tested plans freely available on the Internet. Many of these are actually great options for Stuft!

1. FIRST/Run Less, Run Faster emphasizes cross-training and training efficiency, which is perfect for Stuft as a fitness instructor and busy mom.
2. The Hanson Marathon Method is a high-mileage plan dedicated entirely to running, Stuft’s passion. Additionally, its longest run is shorter than that of basically every other plan, which is again useful for a busy mom.
3. Runner’s World offers plans based on goal time–and they are one of Stuft’s most prized sponsorships.
4. Pfitzinger’s 18/55 or 18/70 plans emphasize running, are high mileage, and come from the bible of running, Advanced Marathoning.

With all these–and many more!–great, free options, whatever will Stuft choose?

I’m planning on following [the plan] from my favorite book by far, Running a Marathon For Dummies.

In fact, Stuft is apparently working with the book’s author as a coach “because of his doctor background.” This is actually a great strategy for her. Last fall she started out following a training plan and quickly discarded it in favor of her eating disorder running a lot, so having someone to answer to might really help. He’s holding up his end of the bargain, at least:

I already asked him if I could add some easy miles in. Obviously he sad “NO”. He also asked me not to be impossible to coach.

We all want things we can’t have.

We’re concentrating on giving my body recovery from all the marathons from the year and including some more quality aerobic workouts. I’m following the plan exactly and we’ll see where it goes.

Terrific! Stuft sounds nervous but enthusiastic about sticking to shorter mileage than she’s used to. She starts off bright and strong with a “seven-mile run with strides at the end” on Monday:

And a “six-mile run involving speedwork” on Tuesday:

Well…okay, she’s adding a little, but normally at least one of those runs would be 10+ miles. So good on you, Stuft! I’m sure that with the focus on recovery and doing only quality workouts, she’s taking advantage of the time she would normally spend teaching classes to squeeze in some extra special #mamatimeisthebesttime.

I have a training tomorrow to become a certified KettleWorX instructor. I better get some practicing in.

Oh. Well, I mean, that’s a one time thing, right?

Let’s talk about this cool Fitbit Blogger Challenge that’s going on. The pressure is on to keep moving throughout the day. It’s automatically set to have a daily goal of 10,000 steps.

Great! Stuft’s morning runs on the treadmill more than make up those 10,000 steps. She can contribute to the challenge and still stick to her pl–

I kind of wish my treadmill steps counted, but that’s okay.

Oh, really? Because, don’t you know, they counted back in October:

and back in August:

and back in July:

Stuft, who trash talks her four-and-a-half-year-old sons on the Internet when she can’t get 10,000 steps before breakfast, tries very hard to convince her readers that wearing the Fitbit has inspired her to take 10,000 steps over the course of a whole day. She also hits us with about sixty-eight graphs of her sleeping patterns, proving once again that if you have enough free time to obsess over the amount you’re not sleeping, you have enough free time to change that.

I’m much more optimistic about her other big shill, however! She is, too:

I’m all about anything that will help my hair get stronger and thicker.

Awesome! So she’s eating enough food and ditching the Legally Zebra look?

I’ve been taking these Hairfinity vitamins for the past couple of months.

Or, you know, she could pop some pills. Stuft raves about the results:

My hair is definitely softer and smoother. It also seems thicker. It definitely feels healthier and when I just got it highlighted the other week, it didn’t dry out nearly as much as it used to. I’ve also noticed that not as much hair falls out in the shower when I’m washing it.

Wow! That’s some testimonial! I can’t wait to see it in action. Here’s the “before” picture:

And the “after”!

You must have misheard me when I asked for the After picture?

I don’t know about you, hamcats, but when I spend excessive amounts of money on vitamins I should be getting in my normal diet, I too aspire to look like the Billy Goats Gruff Gourmet.

It does sound like the 90-day promo sample is ending, so here’s to hoping that Stuft will make up for it with a varied and nutritious diet!

Alternately: with a Quest bar.

And another Quest bar.

And a Quest bar helpfully revealing how few organic gluten-free high-protein Orthorexi-O’s she’s eating.

Hats off to Quest for pretty much singlehandedly keeping Stuft alive.

Oh look, another Quest bar.

The brown stuff on top must be what happens when you eat all those Quest bars.

On the plus side, for breakfast one day, Stuft ate an apple, a muffin, and a spinach omelette. Which actually sounds pretty promising!

Except that…is what it looks like when you rip off the Band-Aid two days early. And realize you forgot Neosporin.

It was delicious. Mmm hmmm….

In closing, it’s Thanksgiving, so Stuft notes that her sons are thankful for her blog readers. She also writes:

Thanksgiving and the next couple of days are all about family time.

And seriously? Good for you, Stuft. If you stick with that training plan, and use it as a guideline to balance your family life with becoming a faster runner, you will have a big group of fans here at GOMI/smugnom cheering for you.

Pretty awesome Thanksgiving morning. Taught a special spin class and then went for a toasty 8 mile run.

…gonna psych you out in the end.

Stuft stats!

Goal of training plan, week one: Rest and recovery
Miles on training plan, week one: 44
Miles admitted to have run as of Friday: 40
Extra classes added this week: 2

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KERF recaps: Kathy’s Thanks Logged More Pedometer Steps and Had Fewer Calories Than Yours

The week of Thanksgiving on Kath Eats Real Food was a stellar, five-part miniseries on doing the holidays better than anyone could ever even imagine.

Monday’s regularly scheduled description of the previous two days imparts the following information about Our Heroine, a social butterfly with a steam mop in one hand and a fitness shackle on the other:

• The weekend before Thanksgiving is “calm before the storm!!” but Our Heroine is not about to buckle under the pressure, and accomplishes “household stuff” and two gym classes, and she deems the two-day period “nice” with another exclamation point.

• She and mother-in-law Karen went to the Greek Festival for

good food – and amazing pastries! …. On then [sic] menu: Greek salad, pastichio, spanakopita, Greek-style green beans, and a roll. Glass of wine was extra!

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I’m not sure what she means by “extra,” but at least she didn’t spell the dish “pistachio” and try to describe it like she did in 2012, when she called it “INSANE!” and a “lasagna-looking stack …. The top layer was something that I couldn’t decide on – either mashed potatoes or a custard – plus ground lamb (I think?) and noodles.”

Or, as Kathy would say, I’ll decide on later.

Instead, Dainty Kathy, who has the tiniest, sugar-nibblingest appetite ever and makes sure to note that the pastries were “shared,” turned her adorable confusion about ethnic food to the dessert tray:

My favorite are the “nests” as I call them, but their real name is kataifi.

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• On Saturday, Kathy fought back against an evening of Greek pastry by being at the gym at 8 a.m. for a class that

….kicked my butt. Literally – I felt like someone had!

and then eating a pre-packaged plastic thing of “overnight oats” the gym serves at their food place. Inquisitive Kathy was full of questions she couldn’t be arsed to actually ask anyone:

This one was all chia and flax!! I’m not sure if there was actually apple in it – maybe apple sauce? But I could taste plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg!

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• Kathy came home and “played …. trains, blocks and tea party” with her toddler until mother-in-law Karen finally relieved her, taking the child out for adventures and food, although why he would want to leave this shoved-in-a-corner immaculate table top mostly covered with sponsored plastic crap his mom earned for his sponsored birthday party is beyond me:

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• Freed of her awful resp-mom-sibility, Kathy turned bathroom closet-cleaning into a way to mention a sponsor, how much free shit she is given, and what an irritating amount of vacations she goes on:

….so many hotel shampoos and beauty samples! FYI, BirchBox boxes make great storage boxes!

She also tries to make some sort of tsk-tsk joke about why there’s a plastic spider in the shot:

I have no idea who put it in my make up!!

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Yes, Kathy, we’re all very proud of you for buying a perfume no one on Fragrantica or Basenotes has ever heard of that takes its name from the late sweater designer.

• Kathy, who is busy and totally in control of her hunger, ate lunch “really late”: a Whole Foods salmon puck inside a fakery roll, salad, fruit, and

Hot tea allthetime!

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Well, “allthetime” or at least when Celestial Seasonings (or Tazo or The Tea Spot or Lipton in the past) is paying her to do so.

• Speaking of sponsors, Solo Kathy then faffed off to Pottery Barn for “Thanksgiving supplies.”

• Upon her return, “we” made a quiche, which seems to mean Kathy had fuck-all to do with it, especially since it’s Bath Matt’s terrible recipe previously discussed on Smugnom here, the one “combining the rigor of baking with the craft of cooking satisfies both the scientist and artist within!”

I mean, as long as your idea of “rigor” means not using cold butter in the crust like you’re supposed to because, in Bath Matt’s words, “I’m lazy – nobody will notice.” Philosophical master Bath Matt is merely being coy — not noticing is what Heidegger might call a sublime demonstration of the quiche crust’s Zuhandenheit.

Kathy reports that the horrible crust was “extra thick” this time, and that the quiche was made in the first place because their inconsiderate, chicken-raising neighbors have been giving them too many free goddamn eggs:

We are getting eggs from our neighbor and had an overflow! 

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Thanks for the photo, Kathy, so that we all know your slice of quiche is just a scuffin’s breadth wider than the slice you serve to your toddler.

• Kathy’s Saturday night is as exciting as that of a depressed college sophomore beginning to come down with a cold and not feeling like the transfer to the new school is going too well:

Saturday night = We heart Portlandia – that is all!

• Sunday morning’s breakfast was an enforced group activity:

family French toast!

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Whoever cut the lemons that way is wielding a knife and selecting fruit all wrong.

• Productivity includes canceling out one’s intake of calories with exercise and chores, and thus, Kathy

hit the gym for athletic conditioning #2. All I have to say is that my legs are realllllly tired now!!

forced herself to gag down more poorly crusted surplus egg wedge

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finished up another season of “Survivor”

10 seasons down, ~16 to go!

as though she were plowing through Discworld instead of a game show where tan people behave like mopey cunts by the firelight.

babysat for a neighbor, and ate pasta with pesto — probably the wretched, undead stuff they made two summers ago.

Tuesday’s post is one of those roundups where Kathy lists six random gifts she’s been given, bought, or scrounged together recently, and two things she just has to give away:

1. A $16 Pumpkin Souffle-scented candle “from Anthro” that “a girlfriend” gave her for her birthday that smells

SO good!! Like everything pumpkin pie and not toooooo sweet.

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2. Two free necklaces from a collection of something Kathy calls “higher end design jewelry.”

Do you remember me writing about Bama + Ry when Jasmine sent me a cute Mazen necklace?

No, because you never wear it, Kathy. She goes on about how she’s come around to gold (ahem, free gold) and how she totes identifies with Maya Angelou now.

Kathy writes:

I remember when there was a time when I thought gold was for grandmothers, and now my taste is “all gold all the time!!” I just love these two pieces, and wear them all the time. Both are in the Maya Collection and were named for poems by Maya Angelou.

I hope Kathy’s wearing the pieces named after the poem that starts,

When I think about myself, 
I almost laugh myself to death, 
My life has been one great big joke, 
A dance that’s walked 
A song that’s spoke, 
I laugh so hard I almost choke 
When I think about myself.

3. Holiday cards a company called Pear Tree did for her “in exchange for a shout out.” Knowing what an admirable trait it is to brag about being ahead of everyone else in the marathon of superficial tasks during a time of year whose challenges can frequently come from focusing on such showoffy bullshit instead of the humility, gratitude, kindness, and warmth we see only in gold foil script on cheap Homegoods canvases and greeting cards, Kathy takes credit for being on top of Christmas:

My goal this holiday season was to have all the Christmas “chores” done before the season even started.

Wow, Kathy. You really tried hard and succeeded at Having Random Businesses Offer To Do Things For You. Is there a special subscription scouring pad for that?

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To make things worse, she included the photo of her child bawling from within the confines of his Halloween costume, which she calls “the famous dinosaur photo,” as though she were some sassy VJ counting down infamous MTV moments and she just got to the time Vanilla Ice trashed the set of “25 Lame.”

4. A $50 pair of made-in-China rain boots, perfect for any resident of a city that gets 219 days of sun per year — 14 more than the average American town. Kathy says these boots are “so comfortable” and seems to think she’ll be sporting them in the middle of a Virginia summer.

The rubber is really soft, so they bend easily and are easy to walk in. I also love that they don’t come up to my knees, so they are not so hot in warm weather and fit well over my calves. Bring on the rain!

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5. A Nespresso machine Kathy doesn’t get to even use — just give away on behalf of Gourmesso, a company that puts coffee in pods. Unlike bloggers Let Stalk Mommy and Steamy Kitchen (tagline: “Eat Real Food!”), Kathy couldn’t tell her flock how tasty the decaf pods were after being adulterated with cream and sugar, and the company wasn’t about to give her a machine:

Gourmesso asked if I’d like to review some, but I don’t have a Nespresso machine, so I asked if I could give some away to you guys! They offered to giveaway [sic] Nespresso Inissia machine and 10 boxes of our coffee (which equals 100 capsules)!!!

6. Branches from a bush in her yard and more branches she “found” at the farmer’s market stuffed in a hand-me-down 5-gallon glass jug from her mother.

This was the easiest fun table centerpiece …. I am loving the wild look!

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7. A $100 gift card to “a really cool business” that sells chains attached to lobster clasps for pregnant women “swelling out of their wedding rings.” The business is run by her “friend” Jamie, who

couldn’t fathom not being able to wear my ring, especially when I was expecting.

Jamie also sells a “line of charms that snap into [the necklaces] when they can have their ring on their finger!” You know, because you’ll want to keep wearing this when you don’t have to:

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The fact that someone’s selling awkward lobster clasps attached to $5/foot silver cable chain for hundreds of dollars isn’t the worst part, though. The worst part is the tackily clueless name. Guess we can expect Jamie Waller’s next ventures to be custom eyeshadow from the Blacken My Eye line? Seasonal corn gift delivery from Box My Ears? A plug-in home fragrance from Slap Some Scents Into You?

Awesome imagery, Jamie.

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I totally want to buy some jewelry now.

8. The last thing is free “holiday flavors” of whatever Talenti is. Ice cream, frozen yogurt — it’s some kind of frozen thing with sugar in it, and what Kathy cares about is that

….all I can say is YUM!!  The pumpkin pie is awesome – very spiced with real pie crust pieces – and the eggnog is like the real deal in ice cream form! Also in the limited edition group: peppermint bark! Caramel apple pie and fudge brownie are year round festive flavors.

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She also introduces a brand new thing she’s going to do: a newsletter, which I’m sure is going to go as well as her app did that one time.

Top secret news: I have another giveaway in my first ever KERF newsletter next week!!

 

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Wednesday’s post is one of the ones Kathy calls “Lately,” even though it’s just a list of food she ate a long time ago. To try and make it seem timely, she wedges in an intro paragraph about Thanksgiving, even though it doesn’t lead into any of the foods she ate forever ago, which include these abominations:

• “Pumpkin oat fun!”

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The “fun” comes from “orange sprinkles.”

 

• “Two little pancakes …. were on the menu the next day.” Simmer down, Hunca Munca. It’s flour and binder and stop trying to style your peanut butter.

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• A “bowl” that “was cottage cheese oatmeal with baked apples on top.” Which is weird, because it looks to me like a bowl that had that stuff in it, but I guess the very matter of the container was also constructed from foodstuff.

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• Pancakes at BFF Sarah’s house, except that Kathy calls them “cakes.”

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 7.33.43 PM• Leftovers she begins mentioning without ever giving the reader any context what they’re left over from, like the very sudden “Leftover chili mug.” There is also, allegedly, “jicama slaw” on top of that salad, which leads me to believe Kathy has no idea what either of those words mean.

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• Leftovers from something she says she made on the weekend, even though we’ve just read what she made over the weekend, and it doesn’t match. In any case, the leftovers are merely conveyances for what Kathy calls

A hidden puddle of ketchup in the middle : )

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• More leftovers of, or from, whatever or wherever Continental Divide is, with messy specks of beans and rice on the side.

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• A “tiny piece” of sweet fakery bread and a salad Kathy calls “efficient” because it mimics that gross McDonald’s Salad Shaker from George W. Bush’s first term:

She then orders:

add your dressing (or in my case, deconstructed dressing components) and shake! Plus leftover salmon, fresh veggies and goat cheese. 

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 7.37.31 PM• Grapes, double that amount of grape stems, and leftover pizza

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• Mushroom ravioli from the farmer’s market, broccoli, and leftover chili on top, because Kathy couldn’t be arsed to use her home-canned tomatoes or her homemade pesto.

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She insists:

It was actually really good!

• Grilled fish tacos. Since mother-in-law Karen came over for this dinner, one assumes she paid for and brought the mahi mahi and Kathy merely contributed the farmer’s market tortillas and the insistence that the tacos resemble a smoothie and contain “jicama apple slaw, avocado and crème fraîche.”

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 7.40.41 PM• A “marg,” nachos, and bean and cheese burritos at the long-awaited Continental Divide, which, we discover, is a Mexican place that pregnant BFF Sarah took Kathy to for her birthday. Which was in October.  Since it was Sarah’s treat, I guess she was okay posing with a virgin “marg” —

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— and letting Kathy order two extra days of food on her dime. Or, as Math Professor Kathy describes:

I only ate about 25% of this and had 2 meals more out of it!

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• Salmon, “half a roll,” leftover grits, chard (actual chard, not Chardonnay referred to in a stupid way), and “the Cook Smarts raisin marinade,” a reference I suspect we’re supposed to understand without explanation.

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Run away, little raisin hero! You can make it!

Kathy ends her “Lately” post with a photo from Toddler Carbz’s art class, which I hope doesn’t mean she’s been snacking on paste. Predictably, Kathy’s thoughts on her child’s art class are all about herself:

Toddler art class: just as fun for the adult as it is for the child. I loved getting my hands in that play dough – so soothing!

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I know, right, Robert Downey Jr.? Kathy’s commenters are on the same page as you:

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Kathy’s post on Thanksgiving was a tale about how she and her toddler popped up to Maryland to see sister “Larbs” and their mother’s mother — the one who creates those freaky (but kind of awesome) paintings and is always joyously knocking back Manhattans.

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Kathy writes:

We have so much to be thankful for this year.

What she shows, however, is

• A child she prevented from making terrible marker messes by limiting his activities to stickers on coloring books.

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• Her child looking away from her in three photos and her mother looking away from her in one.

• Kathy and Larbs, neck and neck in the competition for Laziest Attempt at Making Blonde Hair and Long Jewelry a Look.

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• Kathy hoping everyone else will take care of her child’s entertainment so she doesn’t have to do it, reducing the kid to playing with an antique dollhouse built by Kathy’s grandmother’s grandfather and wind-up mice Kathy’s grandmother purchased for him.

• Booze, because she doesn’t have to get its permission to photograph it. She writes:

Uncle Chris always makes a great Manhattan!

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Of course, there’s no explanation about why Chris himself — whose Memorial Day appearance was quickly yanked — doesn’t want to be photographed, making both sides of her family now completely anti-KERF photography at the closing of the year.

• Booze, because it’s easier to make

The ends of champagne + Chambord cocktails

look festive than it is to make Bath Matt, who met them for dinner one night, look like he’s not Had It Up To Here With This Food-Blogging Shit.

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Scuffing back to the Charlottesville-bound train with her inconvenient toddler, her rubber boots, and a memory card devoid of family photos, Kathy ends the post wishing her readers well:

I enjoyed reading all of your comments about your Thanksgiving plans on my giveaway post! Hope everyone has a lovely holiday, whether you are with family, traveling, caring for others at work or stuffed silly already.

Good on Kathy for the kind words, and for reminding them of the value of being thankful for family, generosity of spirit, and plentiful food. It would be nice if those values were the focus of her own post about Thanksgiving.

In reality, Friday’s post starts out with Kathy wishing her readers

Happy Black Friday!!

— as though a “lawless shitshow” known for shoppers basically winding razorblades in their hair like Pam Grier preparing for a fight in “Coffy” and camping in front of electronics stores for days for a shot at a discounted laptop is a proper holiday.

In other words, probably the most perfect greeting from a woman whose time with her family was sponsored by Birchbox, General Mills, Pottery Barn, Talenti, Gallo wines, and that vague, existential sense of ennui.

Kathy continues her Friday check-in by describing how virtuous she plans to be (her plans Friday, she says, “involve working out – and I’m excited about that!”) and has already been. First off, she won Thursday’s battle of not being a fatty fat fat-fat because she was careful not to eat all the pie.

Thanksgiving dinner was a big success, and we are all still digesting.

Really? You checked in with your husband’s mother, your parents, and your brother-in-law to see where in their intestinal tract your Whole Foods kale bake was lodged? Go on. Tell us more about what a “success” Thanksgiving was.

(Actually compared to years past I didn’t eat thaaaat much but it was still a lot!)

She also managed her time so perfectly that she could work out as well as prepare for the meal:

I took an hour off for a turkey trot on my own, but most of the effort was spent setting the table and cooking.

Really, Kathy — table-setting is about as involved an activity as preparing canned cranberry sauce, which is why you can usually get a child or a well trained cat to do it. Either way, her preparations paid off handsomely. No one could have noticed the chalkboard she couldn’t be bothered to wash, what with all the drunkenly margined promises of “But” salad, “ChipoHe” potatoes, and “Cranberry Sauce Rolls.”

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Despite having her parents, her child, Bath Matt’s mom, and his brother at the table, Karen is the only one who gets caught in a photo. It’s typical for photos of members of different generations to prompt observations of how similar the relatives look, but that’s not usually because they both look so utterly irritated by the photographer.

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Having chilled the porch, Kathy returns inside to take ten photos of the table with all her Pottery Barn crap on it, with no tempting, calorie-containing food or photo-avoiding family members to mess up her shots.

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Kathy describes the table-setting as “rustic” and “modern,” with hand-made place cards she apparently reuses every year, “red berries from our yard” in a “vintage jug” belonging to her mother, and a silver gravy boat (empty every time we see it because there was no goddamn gravy at this Thanksgiving). Overall, Kathy says, putting shit on her dining room table was

a dream come true because I partnered with Pottery Barn to make it extra special. We already had tons of Pottery Barn things since it’s one of my very favorite stores and was my favorite pick for our wedding registry.

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Jamming the post with affiliate links, Kathy links to the blanterns, featureless blandware, white blandkins, and, uh, cake bland she and Bath Matt received for their wedding, and some “so chic” flameless candles with “really cool looking ‘flames’” Kathy has bought since then:

I LOVE flameless candles! I let them burn all day and never worried about fires or dripping. Karen and Andrew were both totally fooled when I told them they weren’t real flames! They are great when you have small children at home too.

Wait, they were fooled when you told them the truth? For the love of empty silver gravy boats, Kathy, stop writing like a GPS that gives up two miles from the destination. Maybe then you’ll score a Pottery Barn sponsorship that pays for more than a $39 made-in-China table runner, some $12.50 “crystal” candle holders, and some 4-for-$20.50 napkin rings, about which she comments that she “loved the bling.”

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Pottery Barn isn’t the only sponsor Kathy is thankful for this holiday season. At 2 p.m., with her guests starving, Kathy drags out the NatureBox snacks we haven’t seen since July, adds about 26 green beans, a bowl overflowing with a haphazard selection of carrot sticks, another bowl in which, like, two tablespoons of hummus are languishing at the bottom, a bowl of honey peanuts she bought at a neighbor’s school “funraiser” [sic], and a dozen chunks of “dairy cheese” (presumably meaning cheese from “Everona Dairy,” not that she can learn capitalization rules).

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The “snack platter,” she reports proudly, “was devoured.”

Oh! But who’s that at the door? Why, it’s another sponsor! This time, it’s a present from General Mills: a “special” beer made using the cereal of conscious foodies everywhere, Count Chocula.

Kathy writes:

I hear the rumor is that the brewery bought all the Count Chocula in Fort Collins in order to make it!

The “rumor”? Good grief, Kathy. You quoted from a media release written by a “social engagement specialist” at General Mills.

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Anyway, appetites whetted with free cereal-flavored beer and dry vegetables and nuts, Kathy breaks down how she, her husband, and his mother

split Thanksgiving dinner 3 ways – well, 4 of you count Great Harvest’s contributions!

One assumes she means the preparation of Thanksgiving dinner, as it’s a sad thought to imagine Bath Matt’s brother and Kathy’s parents and child fighting over pickled beans and “funraiser” peanuts.

Bath Matt was in charge of preparing “turkey,” which we see in a carved state —

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— as well as a “big hunk of meat” in “a special blend of herbs and spices from The Spice Diva” (Kathy describes the result as “perfect”) —

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— and “awesome!” sweet potatoes

smashed with a chopped chipotle (in adobo sauce) pepper and topped with goat cheese (plus the usual half and half and a little butter) …. The chipotle added such a nice kick.

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Karen made a mushroom bread pudding Kathy called “rich and tasty,”

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which I’m guessing is Squiggly Line Code for OMG 616 calories per serving and it has onions in it.

Karen also made a beet salad that Kathy somehow considered a personal victory, cheering tackily:

Plants represent!

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 3.16.12 PMKathy’s contributions were cranberry sauce (“a must for me!”) that her mother had to help her make (Really? I could fucking make cranberry sauce from memory, and I have less confidence in my ability to boil water without scorching a kettle), and a Whole Foods recipe for swiss chard gratin she changed by using kale instead:

….and it turned out great.

Doubtful. The recipe directs you to make a roux, and no one abhors a roux more than the author of Paella Mac & Cheese: The Sponsored Recipe That Was, the Queen of Fuck-It-Who-Needs-Cold-Butter-In-This-Crust-donia.

Still, the important thing is that it was 160 calories per serving, and, in Kathy’s estimation,

A delicious way to get a green vegetable on the table!

Oh, thank goodness for you, Kathy, you sneaky mummy, you! Sorry that Count Chocula beer has a welcome spot at the table but that Karen’s beet salad couldn’t contribute enough fucking folate to your bountiful table, Vitamin Asshole. Too bad your dish looks like pine shavings and wilted weeds.

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I hope you kept an extra stick of red berries from the bush in your yard, by the way, because the cranberry sauce you needed help with is drowning and might need help out of that bowl.

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Our Hostess, who has held actual employment in public relations requiring her to know how to capitalize proper names for businesses, also notes “Great Harvest’s contributions.” Those would be rolls, pies, and 

pumpkin oh

“pumpkin oh”

Finally, there was a “special” bottle of Benchmark she got as swag at William Hill Estate (part of Gallo winery, whose expertise in wine is so rarefied that it bought 18 million bottles of merlot and shiraz) gave her on her OMGSonoma trip, saving her the $95 us non-food-blog-having folks have to pay to drink it. Kathy declares it

Fancy enough to get decanted.

Thus thoroughly fancified, Kathy proudly boasts that she

didn’t go back for seconds on anything despite it all tasting amazing – crazy!

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She also mentions that she “proposed a trivia question” in which she made her family guess which pop song was identified quickest in a survey. If you follow the link, you learn that the song is the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe,” which people take an average of 2.29 seconds to guess, which I suppose makes Kathy’s dad a master of “trivia,” since, after 26 years of failed estimates, he finally guessed how many pickles were in a jar and won some free relish a few years ago.

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Model dieter Kathy “waited a bit” for dessert, and then logged a few more steps on her Lime Green Fitness Cuff by putting out her uncapitalized “pumpkin oh” and those unsold fakery pies on her two cake stands, which, guys, you will NOT believe this, are from POTTERY BARN:

(see how perfect of a fit this challenge was!)

Kathy quaveringly puts the tiniest portions ever of pie and previously mentioned Talenti gelato on her Pottery Barn Great White plate —

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— saying the molecules of pies she allowed herself were “delicious!” and that her brilliant husband

made all 200+ pie crusts by hand last week.

I’m sure they were amazing and that no one minded whatsoever that Bath Matt doesn’t care about making the crusts properly at all, and I’m sure that laziness had nothing to do with the fact that there were leftover pies for the Younger-Smugsons to take home.

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Nothing says this is the best Thanksgiving ever and I’d be proud to appear on your diet blog like a man in a wrinkled T-shirt caught trying to fall asleep on his feet.

At some point, Kathy notices she never got any photos of her family, blames it on the fact that “we were so busy,” and posts three photos of her child smiling and laughing as her father — face cropped entirely out of the shot — rests his hands on the boy’s shoulders and snuggles him. She ends the post by saying she hopes her readers “leftovers are a’plenty” and — to fulfill the FTC’s disclosure requirements she hates ever so much — writing far more words about how tender her heart beats for Pottery Barn than she did about her family:

I partnered with Pottery Barn to celebrate Thanksgiving this year because I love them lots. The included links are affiliate links. Mwah!

Congratulations, Kathy. Your writing has reached level: Emoticon.

Despite all their hostess’s backbreaking work taking photos of napkin rings, candles, and twigs in bottles, Kathy’s commenters are not a wholly pleased bunch and, even on Thanksgiving, they dare to call out her lackluster efforts typing words about decorations, alcohol, food, and sponsor disclosure:

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You can almost sense the white-knuckled restraint of the Pottery Barn representative who must be checking in on the relatively disastrous results of Kathy’s sponsored post, wishing they could jump in and make everything better with a monogrammed channel-quilted velvet stocking or a quince and pepper berry wreath, knowing they can only sit there and watch a sliver of the company’s social media budget (retail price: $73 plus tax) burn instead.

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