All the Garlicky Things I Ate at the Cleveland Garlic Festival

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

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I cannot fathom how there are people out there who don't like the taste of garlic. I get not liking the lingering garlic aftertaste of garlic that sticks around, like, forever, but disliking the taste of garlic itself? That's beyond me. Truly.

Each summer, the North Union Farmers Market hosts its annual fundraiser, the Cleveland Garlic Festival, in Shaker Heights, just outside the Cleveland city limits. My friend Brittany was in town for the weekend, & she was more than happy to hit up this quirky festival with me for the first time.
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Please? What We Did with 48 Hours in Cincinnati

Friday, August 23, 2019

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Cincinnati is just under four hours away, but neither Mike nor I has ever spent much time there. My aunt, uncle, & cousin live there, & so I've visited them in the suburbs a few times, but I've only been to downtown Cincinnati once - just two months after Mike & I started dating! 

We decided to do a quick weekend trip to visit the fam & check out the city, though we arrived late Friday night, which really only left Saturday for exploring. I think we made the most of it, though, & the kind folks at the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau helped out by sending along some ideas & hooking us up with some adventures.  
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How I Psych Myself Up to Conduct Interviews for a Magazine

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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I am terrified of speaking on the phone - which has never been a great quality for a writer to have. In fact, it's the reason I became a writer & not a reporter, why I work in social media instead of, say, public relations: I am great behind a laptop, but put a receiver in my hand (OK, or a cell phone, it's 2019), & I start shaking in my boots.

In recent months, though, I've started to take on more freelance writing work, & more freelance writing means more freelance reporting. And you know what that means: more phone calls.

Recently, I've identified a few key elements of my pre-interview routine, things that help calm me in moments when I might otherwise feels panicky. Some people have asked me what it's like to conduct interviews, so I thought I'd share! Before interviews I...

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My Ideal Morning Routine (If I Woke Up in Time for One)

Monday, August 19, 2019

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I feel like people are always talking about their "morning routine" - & can I be honest? I don't have one. I don't wake up in time to have one. Living with two different sleep disorders means that I sleep whenever I can, as much as I can, & I often wake up late, at the very last minute, before I need to get my day started.

This mooostly works for my lifestyle, but I know it wouldn't work for everyone - & again, if I'm being honest, there are times when I'd like to figure out how to wake up earlier, on a regular basis, so that I can better implement a little bit of structure & routine into my mornings.

For now, I'm just focused on going to sleep & waking up at "normal" hours (more on that in a future blog post), but if I ever get there, well, here's the ideal morning routine I'd like to cultivate.
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Colors of Cancer: Why I'm Wearing White This September (& How You Can Help)

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

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I was 10 years old when my funny, witty, loving father, David Bigam, died after a long fight with lung cancer.

I was 28 years old when my brilliant, strong, talented grandmother, Jeanne Goldman, died after a brief battle with lung cancer.

That same year, my perseverant, compassionate, & kind-hearted friend Elissa Froman died after years of Hodgins Lymphoma.

Elissa preferred not to use words like "fight" or "battle" to describe her experience, but she did, indeed, fight like hell.

They all did.

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At 35, a Reflection: On Living a Big Life in a Small City

Monday, August 12, 2019

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I always wanted to lead a big life. I wanted to live in a big city & do big things & maybe (now this is the Leo in me talking) be a little bit famous. I always felt like I had it in me, like I could hit it big in some way, whether I became a writer or ended up on a reality TV show or... who knows, really. I didn't even know; I just knew that I wanted a big life, & I felt like I was ripe for it.

One week ago, I turned 35, & my friend Rebecca, who was visiting from Brooklyn, asked me how I've been feeling about my life. What am I proud of accomplishing? Is there anything I feel like I should've already accomplished by now?  What life do I have versus the kind of life that I want?
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8 Ways to Support Ohio Families Impacted by the Immigration Crisis

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

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If you think the ongoing immigration and refugee crisis impacts only those living near the U.S./Mexico border, think again: Immigration advocates say Ohio is one of the worst states in the country in which to be an immigrant or refugee. An estimated 107,000 undocumented immigrants live in Ohio, and statistics show that our state has the third highest rate of immigration arrests in the country – behind only Pennsylvania and Michigan.
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6 Small Goals for August

Friday, August 2, 2019

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OK, let's get this out of the way: I didn't accomplish a single one of my July goals. Womp. I was inclined, initially, to just leave them out of this post entirely, but let's go through 'em anyway, knowing that I knocked nary a one of them off the list.
  1. Do a "don't-spend" month. I saved $45 by socking away money I would otherwise have spent on stuff I didn't need. But I also spent plenty of money on other stuff I didn't need. 
  2. Only eat out for lunch one day a week. I might have actually done this one, but I forgot & stopped keeping track of it. Oops. Mike did start meal-prepping on Sundays, though, so I've eaten a lot of lunches at home lately - much more than usual! 
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What I Read in July

Thursday, August 1, 2019

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I feel like I hit my stride again in July, reading-wise. It had been awhile! I finished eight books in July, my highest monthly total since March, & nearly all of them were good - or at least enjoyable. This month 's books represent my reading references to the point of stereotype: Harry Potter, The Bachelor, YA thrillers, memoirs about crime & religious cults... This is really a peak Kate Kaput reading month.

Now that I'm done with my Harry Potter reread, I expect to get back to my regular reading schedule... though I'm already ready to start rereading it again!
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