St. Patrick's Day... and all

(Whenever I don't post for a long time, I feel the need to apologize for my absence. So sorry, all two of you who read. =p)

It's St. Patrick's Day! We'll all wear green, but what we really get happy about today is it's my dad's birthday. Wish he was here to celebrate it with us. (No, he's not departed, he just lives on the other side of the world.)

Some other random green musings:

  •  I made a fun treasury for my Etsy team. Click on this link to view it.
  • There will be no green beer for us today. I'm watching my sugar and my awesome hubs shared a shamrock shake with me yesterday, so I'm trying to recalibrate things today. Not to mention, green beer is just gross.  
  • I'm a big fan of Marvillosa Jewelry and this is my favorite piece in that shop right now. It's not Irish, but I'm more into the Scot thing anyway.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/118549337/scottish-thistle-sterling-silver?ref=sr_gallery_17&ga_search_query=tbec+celtic&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

  • St. Patrick’s Day is observed on March 17 because that is the feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is believed that he died on March 17 in the year 461 AD.
  • Legend says that each leaf of the clover means something: the first is for hope, the second for faith, the third for love and the fourth for luck.
And that's all I got. Hope it's a good day and you don't get pinched or leprechauned on.

Christmas Musing


It's the day after Christmas. There's still gift bags and tissue paper piled high on the loveseat. The coffee table is full of Christmas bounty. Jason's back to work. Julian is crawling around the house in his new sleeping bag pretending to be a worm. Jane is sleeping off a crazy jam session in her fancy exersaucer. I'm feeling the usual mixed emotions that come with the holidays. This week between Christmas and New Years is always kind of long and strange, especially with school being out.

We spent Christmas day with my in laws. I'm so lucky to get along with them well. My mother in law made it a relaxed, delicious, beautiful time. We've established a tradition. We open presents at our home and then head over there for breakfast and time with all the family. At some point presents are opened. By noon, everyone heads back to their houses for a Christmas nap. We don't have other family in town so we go back for a nice holiday dinner. There's usually a non-related guest or two that joins us. It's a nice day.


I do miss my family though. My parents are overseas. My brother is in California and my sister and her family live in Texas. We try to talk, or at least text, Christmas day, but I think that only makes us miss each other more! For me, there's always a little undercurrent that something is missing during the holiday season and I know it's being with my family. Hopefully we'll all be able to celebrate together in 2015.

I also went into this Christmas thinking that there would not be many presents under the tree. We've had medical  bills to pay off, stuff with the cars, and just a lot of financial drama this year. Jane is pretty small so I wasn't worried about her being disappointed, but Julian has had some major Christmas hauls in past years. I also love finding perfect gifts for friends and family members so, by my own choice, I normally have quite a few people to shop for. This year, we had to seriously slim down the list. We mostly just bought for our kids, nieces & nephews and our parents. 

Much to my surprise (and gratitude!), we were flooded with gifts from family and friends. The grandparents got the kids' big items: a bike for Julian and a deluxe exersaucer for Jane. I'm pretty sure neither of the children minded that some their gifts from us were not entirely new. Julian even said that this was the best Christmas ever. We all loved hearing that!


Of course, as much as family means and as fun as all the gifting is, the real meaning of Christmas also brings me mixed emotions. I can't express enough thankfulness that I don't have to earn God's acceptance. Jesus made that possible, so celebrating His birth is the highlight of my year. This holiday and the whole Jesus story is about love, forgiveness, acceptance, peace... and it makes me very sad that those are not words that are associated with Christians in general any more. That's another blog post entirely though! 

'Tis the Season...

My wish list is all about Etsy this year! The newest gadgets hold little allure.(Okay, well, with the exception of the cell phone watches, but that isn't in the cards this year anyway.) Here's my picks:

Siobhan ( coincidentally the Irish form of Jane meaning "God is gracious."! ) earrings from Maravillosa Jewelry
These bat vases from Castle Rock Pottery are right up my alley!
From Gypsy Thread, love this vintage fabric and the whole Japanese knot bag design
I still prefer books to e-readers, so I need these vintage bookends from Elon Vintage
FunnyPeopleCo vintage navy blue boots- do not have, really, really want! (And, yes, these are my size!)
One can never have enough pillows. This cover from Pillow Loft Home Decor is so cute!
And this is what I want in my stocking- Lychee lip scrub (already have the balm!) from Lola's Handcrafted

Freak Show Favorites

This is a post I've been wanting to write for awhile, but wanted to wait until Halloween. One of my favorite Etsy shops is Freak Show Follies. I'm a bat freak so that's how I originally discovered Stacy's shop and then we ended up on the same Etsy team and I've been collecting ever since! They are beautiful and so well made that I wear them year round, but this time of year they definitely get noticed more. And here is my Freak Show collection- try not to be jealous and do go visit the Freak Show Follies Etsy shop to get your own collection started! 

I wear this one the most!

This spider bracelet gets the most attention

This was my first purchase from Freak Show Follies

This is a ring- Stacy does her own custom resin work so her stuff is really one of a kind.

These go with either necklace or just by themselves.

I have worn these, but I think the display card is adorable, so I've left them on it. Stacy's packaging is always fantastic!

I love the range of the Freak Show stuff- it goes from cute to bizarre to buggy!



Who Gives a Hoot?

I kind of love commissions. I like helping someone else fulfill their vision or working with them to make something they couldn't find anywhere else. It also challenges me to get outside my own style and sometimes I've even had to research and learn a new skill. I don't usually make a ton of money on commissions, but I rarely turn one down. The experience is almost always worth it.
Most of the time when I've finished a project I have left overs and those I enjoy working into stuff that is more my design aesthetic. Last month, in anticipation of Halloween, I put together a pair of cute owl charm bracelets for a customer... and I had some owlets left over! The designs below are what I came up with to use them. I will post Etsy links when these are live in my shop, but for now, you can shop them here.






An Autumn Day

Oh, how the fall busyness has come to roost! Part of me loves having so many fun things going on and part of me just wants to go stomp around outside and ignore anything resembling a schedule. 

I'm not the world's greatest photographer, but these paint a picture of how I'd like to spend an autumn day. They do feature items from TheRicharmedLife on Etsy, so you can click the captions to go to the listings.

 

Fresh foods on pretty china
A bottle of fragrant wine
A stroll through and out of a scenic town
Woodsy friends and finds
 

Halloween on My Mind



Amazing how much fun a simple Happy Meal mask can be! We're just a couple weeks away so Halloween in on my mind a lot. It's cheesy, but we kind of like to have a family theme. We let Juju pick what he wants to be and then plan around that.We were all Green Lanterns last year.  


This year Julian wanted to be a giant squid. We'd also decided to participate in our church's Trunk or Treat so it was an easy choice to do an ocean theme for that. I will be attempting to make some sort of jellyfish costume for myself. Jane has a cute mermaid outfit and Jason is trying to pull together some sort of salty sea captain look. Hope it all comes together! If you'd like to check out the results in person, Trunk or Treat is Wednesday, October 30th, 6:30 pm to 8 pm at Skycrest Community Church.

Consistency

I have got to get some consistency going with this blog... It's just life right now is nuts. Take this morning for example. I thought I was going to MOPS and had been planning to do so for the last month. Instead I ended up looking at duplexes for sale. (No, I'm not the buyer.) I've got a list of things to do today; blogging was not on it, but here I am! I think I need to establish what I want to make regular features and not be afraid to schedule stuff ahead. There are days where I get too busy to get on my computer and my phone isn't good for more than checking things. I think Fridays work best for weigh ins and reporting on my whole health revamping.

And it just so happens to be Friday!  I can't say I've done amazing this week, but I haven't blown it either. Of course, more exercise, less carbs, no late night snacking is always on the list of things to improve on. I am still tracking on Livestrong fairly consistently. I'm pleased to have reconnected with a couple people on there who were of great encouragement to me a few years ago and also to have made a couple new friends. 

I really have more I want to blog about, but I just don't think this is the forum for it. Despite so many wonderful things going on, I feel myself sinking into despair over other things. I feel very alone, which I suppose is good for the prayer life, but bad on the heart. And then I feel guilty over feeling anything but pure happiness that I get to spend my days with this little sweetie.

She was flapping her arms which doesn't ever translate well on the phone camera!

Fatty Fat Fat

Where to start... about 6 months after I had Julian, I revamped things. I was working out daily and doing yoga, body sculpting, step class, zumba, running, etc. I was eating well and had my thyroid medication pretty balanced. I lost about 40 lbs. It was great. I felt good and was even doing 5k runs (big deal for this top heavy, heat sensitive, asthmatic!). 

It's not hard to trace where I fell off the wagon. Enter miscarriage one, two, three, four... I stopped all exercise but walking out of fear that it might be contributing to the issue. I was on and off my thyroid meds with each pregnancy. I felt depressed and couldn't even get my head to a place where I could prepare ahead and plan healthy food choices. The weight crept back on. 

When I did have a successful pregnancy with our baby Jane, it was far from an easy one. I had gestational diabetes that was just out of control no matter what diet they put me on. I couldn't gain weight so that was a concern too. I had to eat all the time and stuff that I felt I had no choice in. There wasn't a single craving that I was able to fulfill. It was awful.

So now Jane is here and the diabetes is gone. I'm not even in the pre-diabetic range. And I'm making up for all the things I couldn't have during my pregnancy! This is not a good thing, but I've allowed it because I am breastfeeding. I like to use that as an excuse. My gym scholarship is active so I have no reason why I haven't been as active there. It's just been hard to get myself together and actually go.

I did lose all my pregnancy weight in the 8 weeks after Jane was born. I hadn't been able to gain that much anyway so what I did gain came off easily. However, this morning I weighed at the gym and I've gained back a couple of the pounds I'd lost. That was a wake up call. Apparently I can't eat pizza every weekend and lose weight. =p 

So now what? One of the things that really helped me before is tracking my food and exercise. It forces me to come face to face with the calories in what I eat. I need that. It also provides some accountability. I've reactivated my Daily Plate account on Livestrong. I'm not waiting until Monday to start, so, starting tomorrow, I will be posting on there. If you'd like to join me, the part of the site I use is free. I'd like as many friends as possible to come alongside me in this journey. I'll be following pre-diabetic menu recommendations (as I'm predisposed to it genetically and having had it gestationally).

As much as I hate it, I guess we need a before picture. =e This one is pretty unflattering and really that's why I've chosen it.


Souvenirs

Souvenirs... Maybe it's where I live (Clearwater, FL), but when I think of souvenirs, I think of one of those tacky, neon-lit shops that can be found in any big beach town in the US. Vintage mementos are just so much cooler. When I travel, I usually ignore the obvious tourist traps and look for something that's useful and beautiful to me. I would guess that a third of my Etsy shop listings feature items that were brought back to the US as a souvenirs. 
Here are a few of my current offerings- no bad t-shirts or bored sales clerks! Click on the captions if you're interested in more information.

"Roma Basilica de S Pietro"
"Cape Cod"

"Atlantic City, NJ"

"Florida"
"Innsbruck, Austria"
"Karlovy Vary"
"Florida"
"Lancashire, England"
One last "Florida" one!

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