Welcome to Musings of a Midwestern Girl. I’m Kayla, a 31-year-old born, bred and still-living-here Midwestern girl. The heartland of America sometimes gets a bad rap; people too often think all we do here is eat cheese, drink beer and shovel snow. But the Midwest really is amazing! I’ll set the record straight and share my musings on getting messy in the kitchen, getting sweaty out on the pavement and digging into all life has to offer.
I love to cook, but I only recently (within the last five years) developed an interest in and passion for food and its ability to nourish the body as well as the soul. When I was a little girl, I could be found standing at my play kitchen, furiously stirring pee-sah-soo (my made-up ingredient) in a bowl. Now, I can be found standing in my real kitchen, creating nutritious, delicious meals and not-so-nutritious, but oh-so-delicious treats for my family.
I strive to eat healthfully, indulge mindfully and cook lovingly.
I love running, but I didn’t always love it, let alone even like it. When I was younger, I was the chubby girl; I got picked last in gym class, I warmed the bench for my middle-school basketball team and I did statistics and record-keeping for my high-school cross-country and track teams. But as I grew older (and gained more independence and a better handle on my self-confidence), I no longer was the chubby girl. I took up running (along with yoga, strength training and other forms of fitness), I signed up for a 5K and I since have finished dozens of races, including three marathons!
I recently added group fitness instructor to my resume, too. I’m not a certified personal trainer, but I teach a Yoga Fusion class, as well as substitute teach a cardio kickboxing class at the local YMCA.
I strive to be active regularly and enjoy exercise fully. And now, I hope to be an example for my daughters of what it means to be a strong, active, self-confident woman.
I’m a journalist by trade; I received my bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2006. I previously worked as a reporter for daily newspapers in Wisconsin and most recently was the education reporter for Sauk Valley Media, but I now am a freelance journalist.
I strive to write artfully, communicate openly and live honestly.
Living + Loving
I’m so lucky that my husband, Christopher, supports, encourages and even enables me in all that I do—cooking, running, writing and beyond.
Christopher and I met in mid-2006 at a small daily newspaper in southwestern Wisconsin, where we both landed jobs after college. We started dating in late 2007, got engaged on our two-year anniversary in December 2009 (at the finish line of a 5K race, no less) and were married in June 2011.
Christopher, also a journalist, and I in late 2011 settled in northwestern Illinois after stints in West Michigan and south-central Wisconsin. We are the proud parents of Anna and Elise, our twin daughters born in August 2013, our black Lab mix, Dexter, and our beagle mix, Zoey.
We love–in addition to cooking, running and writing–touring breweries and wineries, playing tennis, cozying up for TV-show marathons, and rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Contact me at kaylabee18 [at] gmail [dot] com.