About Me

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I recently became a stay-at-home mom.  I have an amazing husband and a gorgeous baby girl.  The transition from working mom to SAHM has had it's ups and downs.  Everyday is an adventure as I learn what it means to be a good mom and watch my little girl grow up.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday The 13th

As I write this, the afternoon sun hides deep behind storm clouds, thunder rolls violently every few minutes, and lighting flashes menacingly across the sky-threatening treetops and daring anyone or anything to venture out into the open.   The lights have been flickering and this SAHM is both creeped out and kind of excited.  Every year around this time, my curiosity peeks out from beneath the covers to get a glimpse at the things that go bump in the night.  I'll be the first to admit that I'm a big 'fraidy cat, but each year before Halloween, I get curious.  I don't like to be truly spooked out, but I do like living dangerously on the edge.  I start watching shows like Ghost Hunters and looking into historical, nighttime walking tours.  I've always been a sucker for a good ghost story, and unlike most of my immediate family, I believe in them.

My father has four sisters, all of whom believe in spirits, psychics, and haunted houses.  I must have inherited that curiosity gene because I always inquire about the mysteries from beyond.  I've had my tarot cards read several times in my adult life, but the one thing I've yet to do is visit a psychic.  I've looked into it, they're expensive.  I've been warned about them, they're scam artists or devil worshipers. I've also listened to personal encounters from two women that I completely trust.  I won't write about their experiences, hopefully someday they can do a guest post and tell you themselves.

What I will tell you happened when I was about ten or eleven years old.  Since it was over twenty years ago, I'm not exactly clear on the details.  What I do recall is that the incident scared the crap out of me.  When I was ten I was scared of EVERYTHING, so being home alone wasn't exactly on my top ten favorite things list.  When I was home by myself, I would either hide in my sister's room (she had a t.v. and a phone) or in the living room behind the couch (with a book and the phone).  I would never have answered the door to a stranger, gone into the basement, or left the house.  It was ingrained in my anxious little brain that at all strangers were rapists and murderers and all basements are haunted.

I was in the kitchen, probably scrounging up a snack, when I saw my black cocker spaniel sitting beneath the kitchen table.  She looked funny. I can't explain how or why, but her eyes didn't look quite right.  Thinking she looked strange, I called out to her.  "Molly," I said, and she peered back at me.  She didn't budge, which wasn't completely unlike her.  She loved a good pat, but like any naughty dog, she hid when she did something bad.  I remember feeling uneasy with her strangeness.  "Molly," I called again, "Molly, come."  As soon as I called the second time, I heard a noise coming from my sister's bedroom, which was right off the kitchen.  When I turned, I heard the tags on Molly's collar jingle as she jumped from my sister's bed and trotted into the kitchen to see what I wanted.  Terrified I looked back under the table, where I thought my dog had been and saw nothing.  Molly looked at me curiously from the doorway of my sister's bedroom, wondering why I interrupted her nap.

After I gave her a thorough once-over, I followed her back into my sister's bedroom to hide.  I didn't let her out of my sight, and I'm pretty sure we didn't go back into the kitchen until someone else got home. It's not the scariest story, but it scared me enough to remember it twenty years later.  I wasn't seeing things, there was a black dog under our table one second and the next second it was gone.

I've had a few strange happenings in my life.  The dog story is one of two things that happened in that particular house.  I've had strange phone calls, mysterious doorbell rings, and I swear I saw a ghost woman crying in the middle of the night.  I'm all set with experiencing any more creepiness in the future.  Like I said before, I more comfortable living on the edge of spookiness, but this time of year I feel like listening to what people have experienced.  If you have a scary story I'd love to hear it!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

DIY Coasters!

Yesterday I made my first eight coasters!  I was so excited to make them, but I had to do them in stages throughout the entire day.  Each stage took place while Cakes was asleep.  In fact, I was willing Cakers to sleep extra long so that I could just work on my coasters.  That didn't happen, so instead I had to wait until her bedtime.

I found the DIY Coasters on Pinterest.  I thought they were super cute, pinned them, forgot about them for months, and then rediscovered them when I was perusing my DIY board.  Check out my original PIN.  Even though I chose to make tile coasters, I won't actually use them until Cakers is old enough to stop throwing breakables onto the floor; until then my coasters will become gifts.

I got everything I needed at JoAnn Fabrics and Home Depot.  Even though I had scrapbook paper, I wanted to find something that had a vintage feel. I found this Darling Dear Collection, of patterned paper at JoAnn Fabrics.  I really liked the variety of designs and color pallet.  I also picked up a yard of felt for $1.25 in the scrap bin.  Oh, and I can't forget the two pack of paint sponges for .99 to apply the Mod Podge.

I love so many of these patterns

So about Mod Podge...  Please tell me that I'm not the only one who thought it was called Modge Podge?  I wouldn't have even noticed I pronounced it wrong if my friend Miranda hadn't pointed out the packaging.  She always called it Modge Podge too.  I'm glad she discovered that little tidbit for me, otherwise I would definitely be spelling it wrong.  (I'm pretty sure I spelled it wrong in a previous post. I guess I need to go back and fix that!)  I ended up having a friend pick me up some Mod Podge because mine disappeared in my not-so-organized basement.  Thanks Matt!  Now you can cross off 'Shop at Joann Fabrics' from your bucket list!

I was really excited to discover the tiles were only sixteen cents a piece at Home Depot.  Not counting the illusive Mod Podge, my eight coasters cost me around six bucks.  I thought that was pretty cheap.  I already had a paper cutter, acrylic spray, and a glue gun, so I didn't count those either.  My next set of coasters will only cost me the price of the tile!  (FYI Randsome would totally disagree with my horrible math logic here, but that's okay).

My supplies (minus the clear acrylic spray)

Supply List:
  • Felt or Cork
  • Scrapbook Paper (or any paper or picture)
  • Tiles
  • Mod Podge
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Scissors (I used a paper cutter for scrapbooking)
  • Pen
  • Ruler
  • Paint Sponge/Brush
  • Acrylic Spray (or you can use a polyurethane spray)

Directions:
  1. Cut your paper to the desired size.  One set of my coasters covers the entire tile, while the other set leaves a white rim.
  2. Paint the tile with Mod Podge and carefully place the paper where you want it.
  3. Once the paper has dried to the appropriate spot on the tile, continue applying layers of Mod Podge.  You should allow each layer to dry so that it doesn't turn into a clumpy mess.
  4. Once you've layered on the Mod Podge (I did between ten and fifteen layers), spray your coaster with a clear acrylic spray.  This will make your coasters nice and waterproof.
  5. Cut the felt to your desired size and hot glue it on the bottom of the coaster
This set reminds me of a vintage diner.

Note To Self: THERE IS NO MODGE IN MOD PODGE

I like how these feel kind of whimsical

Love the word bubbles!

Voila!  That's It!  It's pretty easy right?  I really enjoyed making these coasters, and I'm excited to give them as gifts!  Let me know how your coasters come out.  Thanks for stopping by!

-Katie Lou



Saturday, September 7, 2013

Protein Powder: Who Woulda Thought?

It was my full intention to post my DIY coasters today, but my Modge Podge is MIA.  I guess I need to make another trip to Joann Fabrics.  I promise it's coming soon!

In the meantime, I want to share a little bit about my first week of carb cycling.  I'm fully committed to this carb-cycling diet; it's new, it makes sense to me, and it's not that difficult.  I'm going on day six and I'm not miserable.

One of my new discoveries, in terms of food and drink, is protein powder.  I always thought protein powder was for body builders or high school boys who want to bulk up for football.  I never considered purchasing protein powder for myself, until I read about carb-cycling.  Never having tried it, I had no idea what it tasted like, or if I would even like it.  So this week when I was doing my groceries, I stopped in the diet/supplement aisle and grabbed a can of chocolate SlimFast.  I always knew SlimFast was for dieting, but I never read the label.  I didn't know it was a protein powder.  It was the only powder I saw, so I bought it.  It wasn't until I got home and looked at my Chris Powell book, Choose To Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution, that I saw he recommends buying a powder that has less than 5 grams of carbohydrates.  The SlimFast powder I purchased has 13 grams of carbs.  It's a beginners mistake, but I bought it so I'm gonna drink it.

In the book, Powell says that blending your protein powder in with your morning coffee is a great way to eliminate fattening coffee creamer.  It also allows your coffee to become a complete breakfast.  This is great for Randsome, because he doesn't eat breakfast, but for me I still have to eat a banana or something alongside my cup of protein joe.

So in case you've been wondering what I've been eating for breakfast for the last six days, there it is; coffee and chocolate protein powder.  It's really delicious (tastes like a shake) and it keeps you full.  Hopefully, once the SlimFast runs out, the next powder I buy tastes just as good.  Don't forget to keep it under 5 grams of carbs!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Coming Soon...

Hey Peeps! Just a quick update today.  I had an extremely productive day (obviously it did not involve fancying up my blog).  I did, however, find my newest craft project.  After perusing my Pinterest DIY board, I decided to design my own coasters.  Check out the pin that gave me the inspiration!

-Katie Lou

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A New Adventure?

I've mentioned in a previous post how Randsome and I started watching Extreme Weight Loss with Chris Powell.  What I didn't say however, was that I found the show so inspirational that I went ahead and bought Powell's book, Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb-Cycle Solution.  I thought, hey, suddenly I'm this stay-at-home mom, my career path is no longer clear, I need a little inspiration in my life!  Well, between Allie Cakes, job hunting, daily chores, and blogging, I don't seem to have a ton of time to read.  So this past weekend I made the time.  Even though I'm only about 3/4 of the way finished, I've decided to give Powell's carb-cycling a chance.  He's a pretty persuasive guy.  I don't know if it's the enigmatic smile or those puppy dog eyes, but I seem to listen when Chris Powell talks; even if he's not talking to me.

Chris (we are on a first name basis) says that carb-cycling is all about tricking the metabolism.  He compares the metabolism to a furnace; you have to fuel the furnace to keep the machine (body) running at full capacity.  He goes into a whole lot of scientific detail, but it all boils down to the fact that you need to eat five times a day, and every other day you cycle between a high and a low carbohydrate diet.  On your high-carb days, you may not eat fats.  On your low-carbs, you may eat fats.  Everyday, at each meal, you should be eating protein.  Don't worry, he gives you a food list.

I'm at the point in the book where he's finished explaining the in's and out's of the diet, and now he's moving on to exercise.  I can't say I'm too pumped to continue reading.  I'm one of those people who knows the importance of exercise, but constantly comes up with an excuse not to do it.  Maybe I just showered, or I suddenly think my basement is haunted; all I know is that when it's time to work up a sweat, I decide to alphabetize my canned goods, clip coupons from the neighbor's paper, or make puppets out of Randsome's holey socks.  We'll see if Chris Powell can use his powers of persuasion to get me to do some crunches.

In the meantime I went grocery shopping; I plan on giving this carb-cycling a shot.  I figure it can't be too bad; it's definitely the first diet I've encountered that encourages you to eat. Also, I hate to brag, but I'm pretty good at eating.  Last week I emptied my cabinets of anything that might tempt me.  When I say emptied, I don't mean I threw it away.  I ate that fatty goodness.  Don't think I'm not taking this new plan seriously, I am.   But, I paid good money for my junk food so the only trash compactor I was throwing it into was my belly.  I actually think I did it the smart way, I was fiscally responsible and I was not wasteful.
There I am, eating like a champ at last year's Friendsgiving.

Now, in the not-so-distant shadow of my french vanilla coffee creamer, sits a half gallon of unsweetened vanilla almond milk.  I've filled my cupboards with almonds and protein powder, and my refrigerator with avocados, cheese sticks, fruit, and vegetables.  It's ironic that I decided to start eating healthy now that our income has been reduced; not the greatest timing I know.  I mean let's be honest, healthy food is expensive, but I'll be damned if I let rich people dominate the skinny market.

...and so begins my stay-at-home, dieting adventure.  I'll leave you with a quote from Powell where he discusses how you may feel on a low-carb day, "you may feel somewhat sluggish, but embrace the feeling because it means your body's burning fat!"  Unfortunately he doesn't encourage you to go take a nap, but I figure, with anything new there is a learning curve.

-Katie Lou

Monday, September 2, 2013

Shout Out To The Sits Girls!

Even though I'm new to the blogging world, it's something that I've been interested for a couple of years now.  I never started one before now because I was too self-conscious.  It wasn't until recently that I threw caution to the wind and decided to give it a try.

I've only just finished week two here, but I've found a lot helpful resources to get me started.  I have to say that my first blessing was finding The Sits Girls website.  Here I've discovered tons of really great blogs, created by incredibly talented women.  I've been able to ask questions in the discussion forums and get opinions and ideas almost immediately.  These ladies made me feel welcome, even though I'm one of thousands of new bloggers out there.

I wanted to share five of the blogs I've discovered in the last two weeks.  They are all unique even if they cover a lot of similar material.  Check them out and let me know what you think!

Tatertots and Jello:  This is probably my favorite!  Jen is great with design, crafts, and organization!
A Girl and a Glue Gun: Kimbo is an awesome crafter!
A Beautiful Mess: where two sister's share their chic craftiness
This Is Mommyhood: A mama to a daughter who is like a hummingbird on crack.  This blog is hilarious!
Spearmint Baby: This is also a Momma blog, with great design tips, along with some great stories and tips.

-Katie Lou