katie levans

I once had a man tell me that Giselle herself could not make these pants look good. He was referring, of course, to Victoria’s Secret model Gisele Bundchen, a genetic anomaly of physical perfection I would prefer to never be compared to ever again in my life. Like most of the world I love Gisele, and like most women exposed to commercial beauty norms from birth, I do not always love myself. The pants, not surprisingly, landed in my Goodwill donation bag where they have been sitting for months.

On Saturday I resurrected them from their plastic tomb for the Charlotte Shopping Tour because… to hell with this nonsense.

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I decided to do Gracie’s September blogging challenge in one fell swoop. So here are the 30 posts she assigned condensed into one self involved megapost. Let’s go…

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Meal Prep


Yesterday I had grand plans to go furniture shopping for the new apartment. Later this week I’m basically tripling my square footage two doors down from my current unit and am in desperate need of all the things. Then I remembered I went to Vegas this month and am totally out of cash money so I just cooked all day instead.

We can just sit on boxes for a bit…

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Vegan Turtle Cups

vegan turtle cups

Long live the almighty date–nature’s sweetest fruit that thinks it’s a candy. With an insane 93 grams of natural fructose sugar per cup, dates crush the sugar content of other notoriously “sweet” fruits like pineapple (16g), grapes (15g) and bananas (18g) making it an ideal alternative to refined sugars.

Don’t let the numbers scare you; you’ll never eat a full cup of dates. A little bit goes a long way with these guys, and you’ll find the equivalent of less than one date in each of these turtle cups.

I like to drop dates into smoothies, eat them stuffed with almond butter and, of course, make vegan caramel. Let’s do this.

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Caturday 9.27.14

ralph and weaz caturday Hello and happiest of Caturdays to you and yours. If your September has been as completely outrageous as ours, you welcome this day to do nothing but celebrate cats. Let us begin with pictures of Weaz on and in things… Continue reading



I had such an overwhelming-in-a-good way weekend. My college friends and I have managed to meet up at least once a year since we graduated in 2007, but they totally blindsided me with this surprise trip to Charlotte.

I love being around this crew because I’m reminded of exactly who I am. I feel better about Charlotte and more at home than I have in a long time, but when my friends roll in to town I’m reminded of how forced and formal my life still is here. With these guys everything picks up right where it left off and nothing is off limits. I just love them.

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Cane Creek Sprint Triathlon 2014

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I wake up at 5 o’clock in the morning to give myself ample time to chug coffee and stress out. Training would have been an excellent idea, I think.

While I started the summer with the best laid triathlon training plans, my preparation maxed out at three (count ‘em, THREE) trips to the pool (back in July), runs no longer than three miles, and a handful of long but casual bike rides. I have done nothing race related for the last three weeks.

I click through last year’s results one more time to gauge approximately how long I need to be able to keep my head above water before drowning (anywhere from 12 to 35 minutes) and choke down an almond butter and jelly tortilla. It tastes like terror and regret.

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It’s Just a Tri

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The funny thing about doing this triathlon isn’t that I don’t swim or that I’m not competitive or that I haven’t really trained. The funny thing is that when I say I’m doing it the response is always: “A full tri?”

(No, it’s a sprint.)

“OH. Just a sprint.”

Yeah, just a sprint. Just a 750-meter swim, 14-mile bike and 3.1-mile run. And that to me is quite a feat. Because isn’t it all relative? This is the furthest outside my comfort zone I’ve ever put myself (in terms of physical performance). So while I know I can run that far and bike that far (not totally sure I can swim that far, to be honest), I’m not confident I can do all of them in succession or that I can do any of them much faster than at my leisure.

I work out but I’m not an athlete. I lack that drive to win. Whether it’s beating others or beating my own best, I’ve just never been interested. Back in my long-distance running days I’d go out without a watch or a route and just run until I didn’t want to anymore. I just like to move and be alone, I think.

And that adds another layer of anxiety to my triathlon stress parfait: so many people.

I don’t like the idea of all the crowds and the other racers and the yelling and that palpable, pulsing energy. I’m a weird quiet little lone duck. My ideal scenario for this race would be to have my own solo starting time like 5 minutes after everyone else so I can just run it alone.

But maybe I’ve got it all wrong. Maybe what they say about races and the energy and the encouragement is true and I’ll feel better than ever in all that commotion. We’ll know on Saturday. Until then, here is a current but not comprehensive list of all of my fears:

  1. I’m wearing the wrong thing. I have no gear. I was just going to wear some dri-fit shorts and a sports bra that will function as a swimsuit and everything else for the rest of the day and leave my shoes by my bike. Am I supposed to have some kind of water shoes? Wet suit? Surely not. Probably.
  2. I contract a mysterious parasite. I’ve been watching Monsters Inside Me on Animal Planet, a show about super rare parasitic infections and this one 16-year-old girl died after a parasite ate her brain. Cause: water up the nose while swimming outside. SO MUCH CONCERN.
  3. I get kicked in the face. This is a swimming fear only. I certainly hope no one kicks me in the face while I’m running. That would mean that their legs are abnormally long and also that they have no control over them.
  4. I fall off my bike. Clearly this is not an illogical concern because I’ve already done this once.
  5. I oversleep. This fear should be number one since it precedes all others but seriously… What if I forget to wake up?
  6. I throw up or poop or something. DON’T ACT LIKE YOU HAVEN’T HEARD THESE HORROR STORIES. I want nothing to come out of my body but sweat. I like to think I’m in total control of all bodily functions but so did all those runners who have pooped their pants over the years. Shudder.
  7. My knees suck. I don’t run long distances anymore because my knees tend to crap out around 3 miles which (wouldn’t you know it) is exactly how far I have to run.
  8. I go the wrong way. What if… stay with me here… What if I am so far behind everyone else that I come to a fork in the road and am not sure which way to go so I go the wrong way and am just cycling aimlessly through southern North Carolina for DAYS? Think about it.
  9. I don’t finish in time. The max time allotted on the course is 2.5 hours. Does this not seem kind of short?
  10. I get in someone’s way. I may not be competitive but everyone else is. What if I knock over a whole row of bikes or something? Oh god.
  11. I find a cat on the course. This would actually be super great and I would just stop and pick it up and take it home.

I think that covers everything for now. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be just fine. After all, it’s just a tri.


Wear It: THE ONE


I’m becoming something of a white t-shirt connoisseur over here, and Cotton On’s aptly named “The One” is the best I’ve ever had.

It fits perfectly, requires no babying in the wash, and is only $14.95. (I just ordered three more.) I’ve only purchased the Deep V so far, but they’ve also got it in Crew and Scoop. I don’t want to make assumptions about your life, but it would serve you well to stock up on these staples. Just trust me.

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Things That are Better Without Social Media

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I’m 16 days into my social media-free September and now that the cold sweats and nervous ticks have subsided I think it’s time to share what two weeks without all that connectivity is like so far.

While some have argued that the continued presence of this blog is in itself a desperate attempt to remain connected and validated, I consider blogging a new media publishing platform that, while amplified by social media, is not on its own a social media outlet. But maybe I’m just an attention seeking failure. Potato, po-tah-to.

Here’s what’s better without the option to report my life and stalk the lives of others in real time:

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