As Bird is the Word has moved from just a glimmer in my eye to a living, breathing part of my life, I’ve promised myself that someday I would start an interview series. A series that follows some of my favorite people around for a day, chronicling their lives, their work and their beautiful spirits.
Someday is today, and I’m officially launching this series with an interview with myself. Because sometimes you’ve got to give a little to get a little, and I found scheduling time with myself was pretty convenient. Documented by the lovely and talented Kira Noble, I give you the first installment of A Day in the Life with (me!) Kali Ramey Martin of Bird is the Word.
Who are you?
I’m Kali. I’m a cook and the owner of Bird is the Word (duh). I specialize in small scale catering, focusing on simple, seasonal and local food. I’m also a blogger, a wife to the best guy in the world and am kind of obsessed with living in Oregon. That pretty much sums it up.
Where do you live?
In the heart of Oregon Wine Country. More specifically, in a gorgeous 650 square foot, turn-of-the-century loft in downtown Newberg. It was built in 1907 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s full of charm, schoolhouse lights and 12 foot ceilings.
My husband walks three blocks to work, our favorite coffee shop is across the street and church is a mere block away. It’s just perfect for where we are in life and has been such a blessing.
What do you love most about where you live (home + community)?
Since I was a little girl, I’ve always thought it would be so fun to live in an old brownstone apartment in the city somewhere. Then I met and married a small-town farm boy and fell in love with small-town living. Somehow I wound up getting the best of both worlds. We love our cozy little space and the low maintenance lifestyle we are currently enjoying.
We also really love living in the valley. There’s such a great vibe happening out here in wine country right now. I’ve met a ton of wonderful people and get to work with some of the coolest, most inspiring fellow young creatives.
Plus, there’s not a whole lot better than being an hour’s drive from the city, the beach, the mountains and just a few hours from the desert. I. Love. Oregon.
What does a normal day in your life look like?
A couple days a week I get up at the crack of dawn and bake for a restaurant in nearby McMinnvile, Community Plate. Thursdays I go fishing. But most “normal” days, go something like this:
Get up. Drink tea. Read emails and blogs. Browse Pinterest. Get dressed. Head to the coffee shop across the street. Maybe the neighboring bakery. Come back. Write and cost out menus. Make list after list of logistics and details for events. Head to the grocery store. Lose battle against temptation to buy flowers. Arrange flowers. Make a new recipe and take photos of it. Write a post and schedule it. Consider myself the luckiest. Post on Instagram and various other social media outlets. Daydream. Answer more emails. Make dinner with my husband. Snuggle up on the couch to watch the Blazers, Mad Men, Game of Thrones or Downton Abbey. Lay in bed dreaming of the future of BW. Eventually drift off to never-never-land.
How did you get into what you are doing?
After graduating college and working for a few years in a marketing/graphic design/photography position, I found myself rotting away in a windowless, basement office. We decided it was time for me to make a change, and after a couple years of trying new things, we settled on culinary school. I was the biggest nerd in the class and loved every minute of it.
I hit the ground running with a fancy internship at a prestigious restaurant in Portland, working crazy hours and commuting over two hours a day. After a year or so, we decided it was time for a change and I took a job at a little cafe in wine country. Shortly after, a friend decided to have me cook for a dinner party, and Bird is the Word was born. This fall I took my hours down to part-time at the cafe and have been learning a ton and enjoying the heck out of my small business ownership.
What do you like most about it? What inspires you?
Work-life balance was always something that eluded me, but owning my own business and managing my own schedule has allowed me to spend more time doing things I love with the people I care about. I’m finding that putting my life first is allowing me to focus on doing work I’m really passionate about. My life is better and my work is better.
I’m constantly inspired by the courage and creativity of others. People out there making their way just like me. I’m refreshed and rejuvenated by getting out in the woods and hiking, fishing or camping. Surrounding myself with seas of green or floating around in a tube catching trout. I’m filled by snuggling my sweet friends babies and sharing our souls over simple meals. I’m overwhelmed by the history I’ve built with my husband and the way our lives have intertwined so beautifully.
Favorite thing to cook?
One of my favorite things to make is risotto. Especially in the spring when things like peas and favas and spring greens are making their appearances. There’s not a whole lot I’d rather do on a rainy, spring day then stand over a pot stirring rice.
Favorite restaurant? What do you order?
I always dread this question. Even though I came up with it. I’ll cheat a little and say the best restaurant I’ve been to lately is Broder Nord. I had Ebelskivers with lemon curd and lingonberry jam and I’m not sure there is anything more divine in this world. My husband had the smoked trout hash. It was a very quiet meal with lots of eyes rolling back into our heads. Breakfast is best.
What are some of your favorite things to NOT do on a daily basis?
Fly fish. Read about fly fishing. Talk about fly fishing. Look at pictures of other people fly fishing. Also, read books and play in the garden. Planning trips with my husband is right up there on my list (we’re going to Montana this fall!). As well as baby snuggles and playing pretend with my best friends’ kiddos. I’m a lucky person.
That’s all for now! More A Day in the Life interviews coming soon!
Thank you Kira! Your photos are insanely beautiful, as per usual. Thanks for being my friend and creative co-conspirator. Your turn.