All posts by Kati Hammar

About Kati Hammar

I'm a Minnesotan 20something who has had quite the life journey! On my blog you'll find a little bit of everything from knitting to spirituality!

BEDS Day 11: Diverseathon Reading List

There’s this readathon going on in the “Booktube” community called the diverseathon.  It runs from Monday, September 12th through the 19th.  The idea is you read books by people who are different from you, and/or people who identify as a minority in some sense.  I really want to participate but I’m also way too exhausted to make videos right now, so I thought I’d do blog posts.  Since reading can take me awhile, I’m going to give myself till the end of September to get through all the books on my list.

Diverseathon Reading List:

1.)  Days of Awe by Achy Obejas

A Cuban woman traces her identity back to Sephardic Jews who converted to Catholicism to stay safe during the Spanish Inquisition.  When most people think of Jews, they think of Eastern European Jews.  So I thought this would be an interesting read.

2.)  The Muslim Next Door by Sumbul Ali-Karamali

I realized I don’t know much about Islam, so I wanted to read this.  The author delves into common myths about Islam.

3.)  Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi

This is a coming-of-age story that takes place in Nigeria.  It’s about a 15-year-old girl named Kambili who has an abusive father.  She goes to live with her aunt and learns that there is so much more out there.  I read this about ten years ago and I can’t wait to reread it!

4.)  Sparks by S.J. Adams

A 16-year-old lesbian develops a crush on her religious best friend, and she bands together with a few other teenagers who don’t “fit in” and they create their own religion called the Church of Blue.

5.) Wandering Son by Takako Shimura

This is  a graphic novel about a girl who wants to be a boy and a boy who wants to be a girl.  I have only read a handful of graphic novels and books about people who identify as transgender so I’m really looking forward to this one.

6.)  Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Two half-sisters in 18th century Ghana lead vastly different lives.  One marries an English colonist and lives in comfort and affluence.  The other is captured and sold into slavery in America.  This book was mentioned in a few different YouTube videos I watched and I knew I had to get my paws on it!  I don’t want to say it sounds interesting because  it’s talking about slavery, but you know what I mean.

I’ll be back soon with Day 12 of the BEDS challenge, and if I can manage two posts tomorrow I will finally be caught up!  🙂




BEDS Day 10: No Perfect Answers

I’m trying so hard to get caught up on posts while juggling my usual responsibilities of illness management, cat mom, domestic goddess duties, and who knows what all else.  I hate that my BEDS challenge has turned into a “three steps forward, two steps back” kind of thing.

Lately I’ve been feeling like any decision I make about my treatment options is going to be wrong.  I’m doing my best to throw that attitude down the toilet where it belongs, since there is really no such thing as perfect answers when it comes to treatment options and trying to figure my life out in general.  I guess that is one pieces of advice I’d give anyone who has recently been diagnosed with a chronic illness:  Make the best decisions you can at the time and try not to get hung up on results.  Try not to be afraid of changing your mind.  Everything is constantly in flux and you will rethink your current game plan countless times.

I hope this is at least mildly coherent!  Benadryl makes the whole “words putting into sentences doing” interesting!

BEDS Day 9: My favorite movies

When I was in high school, a friend and I got hooked on making lists of things like favorite books, favorite movies, etc.  We’d make lists on sheets of notebook paper and exchange them to write comments.  (This was back in the pioneer days before text messaging and all :p.)  It was a lot of fun and I thought it might be a great way to generate more posts and hopefully get caught up on BEDS posts.  Today I’m going to make a list of my favorite movies.

1.)  Little Women (1994)

Starring: Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon, and Christian Bale

My dad bought the movie used on VHS when I was 12.  He had no idea that I would fall completely in love with it!  The tape in the cassette broke the week before I moved out for college.  I bought the movie on DVD to take with me.  That was ten years ago (eek!) and I’ll have to replace the DVD soon.  Little Women follows the four March sisters through all their ups and downs during the Civil War.  It’s such a good movie!  It takes a lot of departures from the book, but it’s very well done.  I love watching it in the fall and winter.


2.)  Julie and Julia (2009)

Starring: Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, and Stanley Tucci

This movie follows Julia Child’s journey to cooking fame as well as Julie Powell’s quest to cook her way through “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”  This movie was what inspired me to create the BEDS challenge.  The lobster scene will never stop being funny!


3.)  The Emporer’s New Groove (1999)

Starring:  David Space (Kuzco), John Goodman (Pacha), and Eartha Kitt (Ezma)

Kuzco is an egotistical emporer who has a little mishap and gets turned into a llama.  He embarks on a series of misadventures as he tries to get turned back into a human.  There is no such thing as being too old for Disney movies, and this is by far one of their best hand-drawn animated movies.  If you haven’t seen it, fix that!  You won’t be sorry!


4.)  You’ve Got Mail (1998)

Starring: Tom Hanks (Joe) and Meg Ryan (Kathleen)

This is a really good movie for when life is being stupid.  Kathleen is trying to keep her bookstore afloat while chatting online with a business tycoon.  I’m afraid to say too much more than that because I don’t want to give anything away!


5.)  Arranged (2007)

Starring Zoe Lister-Jones (Rochel)

Two teachers in an NYC school become good friends, despite the fact that one of them happens to be a Muslim and one is an Orthodox Jew.  It’s so well done, and as a woman who covers, I can relate to a lot of the ignorance and comments the women face.

If you’ve seen any of these movies I would love to hear your thoughts!







Day 8: Things That Make Me Smile

I’m still trying to get caught up on BEDS posts.  I had a rough few days but I’ll try to get two posts up today and two or three tomorrow, and then I’ll be caught up! For my next several posts, I’m going to share some of my answers to questions in the Start Where You Are journal by Meera Lee Patel.

5 things that always make me smile:

1.) My cat Esther

2.) seeing my friend’s photos on social media

3.)  sunrises

4.)  Beautiful tichels (scarves)

5.)  Chocolate!!!

BEDS Day 7: An adult-sized child

I decided to make a list of things that solve any problem and just generally make me feel a little less craptastic when life is hell-bent on giving me the middle finger.  I realized that I’m basically an adult-sized child, haha!

Here’s my list:

1.) Disney movies

2.)  Legos.  Don’t judge me :p

3.) Coloring.  I repeat my statement about not judging :p

4.) Stuffed animals

5.) Cats

6.) Snuggly blankets

7.) Ice cream

8.) Chocolate

9.) chocolate ice cream

10.) Plaintain chips.  I thought they would be gross since they are such a hippie food but they are amazing.  Plus, now that I have POTS there is no such thing as too much salt, so it works!

11.)  The Golden Girls.  I thought it would be absolutely not my kind of show, but I love it more than I care to admit.  I also think like Dorothy more than I care to admit :p

I’ll be back with day 8 as soon as I can!  (Still catching up on posts and life in general after my body gave me the business end of a hissyfit.)


BEDS Day 6: Rules My Cat Lives By

Sorry for the unintentional break from BEDS posts.  A huge part of chronic illness management is listening to your body, and my body was sending me frantic memos along the lines of “Don’t even think about turning on the computer today!”  But I’m feeling somewhat better today, and I’m going to write three more posts to get caught up to Day 8 as soon as I can.

Today I thought I’d write about my cat.  Esther is 15 and definitely acts like a teenager.  She’s perfectly flexible as long as everything is exactly the way she wants it.  (What Do You Mean That Reminds You of Someone? :p)  She was a stray before we got her from a shelter, and in some ways she acts a bit more feral than most domestic cats.  She hates canned cat food and brightly colored cat toys.  The hubs and I assume this is because those aren’t exactly natural and she’s not used to them.  When she needs pills, the hubs and I have to mash them up in tuna because that is the closest to canned food that she will eat.

I thought it would be funny to write a list of rules Esther lives by, since the Internet is extremely short on cat humor and all :p.  Here goes!

1.)  My butt belongs in Mommy’s face.  The more she tries to get my butt out of her face, the more it needs to be there.

2.)  If the humans get out ice cream or organic jerky, immediately throw personal boundaries out the window!

3.)  Never use the $35 cat bed under any circumstances.

4.) Go crazy whenever a plastic bag makes a noise, because the only reason humans should open a plastic bag is to give me treats!

5.)  Play with electric cords, especially when they’re plugged in.

6.)  Howl loudly when the humans refuse to open the glass patio door.

7.)  Growl fiercely at heavy snow.  It has no business being here!

8.)  Growl fiercely and flatten ears at organ music on TV or YouTube.

9.)  Glare at the humans when they come home smelling like a strange dog or cat.

10.)  When the humans have been gone for longer than a couple hours, sit on them and growl when they try to get up.  This is a huge transgression and they must be held accountable!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll be back with day 7 soon!



BEDS Day 5: Cracker-less s’mores

I’m super exhausted and hurty tonight, so this will be quick.  Today at the barbecue with my mom and stepdad, we all came up with the idea of sandwiching a marshmallow between two pieces of chocolate, due to the graham cracker hostage situation I mentioned yesterday.  IMG_0463IMG_0464We all forgot that chocolate can melt until the chocolate started melting from the marshmallow heat!

See you tomorrow for day 6!

BEDS Day 4: Thrift Store Finds and Graham Cracker Hostages!

So far my BEDS posts have been more anecdotal than tackling major issues, but I guess I’m okay with that.  I think I need a break from writing about chronic illness and whatnot.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s very important to write about those things, and I plan to do so once BEDS is over, but I won’t force myself to do it before then.

Today I went to the thrift store with the hubs.  It’s one of many places I’m not allowed to go “just to look.”  But seeing as we donated five bags of stuff and only walked out of the store with one, I think I did okay!  IMG_0460The pictures were $8.50 (top) and $2.50, compared to their original prices of $35 and $10.  Scarves were $2.50 each.  Huzzah for bargains!  (Side note: The fact that I am using words like “huzzah” in sentences means I have lived with my hubs too long! :P)

Tomorrow, the hubs and I are having a barbecue with my mom and stepdad.  I was going to bring gluten-free graham crackers for s’mores, but that’s out the window since the graham crackers are being held hostage in our building’s office.  I ordered the crackers on Amazon Prime on Friday right after the idea of s’mores came to me.  However, I totally forgot that a) the staff is rarely in the office on the weekends in the summer because that is when they have the most people moving in and out, and b) the office will be closed tomorrow so I can’t pick up the graham crackers then.  Whooda thunk there was this much to write about graham crackers?

I hope everyone is having a safe and fun holiday weekend, and I’ll be back tomorrow for day 5!

BEDS Day 3: Middlemarch Madness!

I’m doing my first read-a-long with Rincey Reads on YouTube.  For the month of August she chose George Eliot’s “Middlemarch.”  I’m only just getting to it now because of the whole spending-summer-in-a-furnace.  If anyone wants to do the read-a-long, you can check out her channel and use the hashtag #middlemarchmadness on Instagram.  I’m not too far into it, but so far I have mixed feelings.  I like the basic premise, but the going is a little slow at times!

I’m also reading “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” which I’m doing for another read along for the month of September.    Click here to check that one out!  I read it for the first time in high school and it’s one of my favorites.  It’s a lot more accessible than some classics and it touches on a lot of the social issues that were prevalent amongst working-class families in New York City at the turn of the century.

If you’ve read either “Middlemarch” or “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” let me know what you think in the comments!  Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you for Day 4!

BEDS Day 2: Coconut chips are a thing!

This morning I was watching a monthly favorites video on YouTube.  This woman was raving about coconut chips.  I love coconut and I always need more ideas for gluten free snacks, so I may have hopped onto Amazon and there may be some en route as we speak.  Which I guess proves the idea that parents should be judicious about what their kids see on the internet, lest they get ideas! :p

Also, it’s officially Pumpkin Spice Season!  I’m not a huge fan of cold pumpkin flavored drinks, but I love warmer pumpkin drinks and I love anything pumpkin spice scented.  I found out that there is such a thing as pumpkin spice lip balm, so now I just need to find an organic version!

For anyone who thinks I’m weird for liking Pumpkin Spice Season, I want to remind you of 2 things: 1.) I spent half the summer in a furnace and need all the fall things I can get, and 2.) there are people who like golf and football and all kinds of things that are waaaay weirder than Pumpkin Spice Season! :p

Thanks for reading, and I’ll be back for day 3!