Fall 2015

My picks for fall, all available on dear Etsy! (See the entire look board and item listings on Etsy by clicking here.)

Richarme Autumn 2015 Collection

I'm so excited to have put together a fall collection this year! I'm the sort of person that has to be really inspired to create things. As the school year started and summer drew to an end, I had very mixed feelings and that's why there are several elements to the collection. 

When I came across the pottery beads, I was just immediately drawn to the dappled speckling. Initially they reminded me of whale shark skin. As I worked with them though, I got more of a cozy kitchen crockery feel and I just had this image of snuggling up with a book and an afghan and a mug of something delicious. That's my inspiration for the first part of the collection.

Available at Richarme.Etsy.com

My favorite autumn activity is antique shopping, especially open air markets or streets just full of  thrift and vintage shops. I love vintage books, vintage jewelry, vintage china... This year I've absolutely loved all the images of blue & white chinoiserie on my Instagram feed. I'd been hanging onto some Chinese beads in that color palette and I just felt like the time was right to debut them. 

Available at Richarme.Etsy.com

I really debated about the last part of the collection as it's not really a traditional fall theme. Here's why I decided to go ahead with it: this was a good summer for us- lots of time with friends and family. We spent half the summer swimming! Every day was a potential beach day and we kept a very loose schedule. Part of moving into the fall is leaving behind summer and I don't feel ready for that this year so I wanted to keep part of it with me. Gold is a nostalgic color so I wanted to edge beach shells in that- almost like sepia toned photos. It also gives each shell a polished look so that it can be worn with both casual and more structured clothing.

Available at Richarme.Etsy.com

The entire collection is live in my Etsy shop, so please go check it out! I only have two of the blue & white bead necklaces left, so hurry over if you're interested in those.

The First 50 is the Hardest

This blog entry has been a long time in coming. In September 2013, I made this post titled "Fatty Fat Fat" where I tracked some of my weight issues and swore to do better. And I did, somewhat, losing about 20 lbs from that September until January 2015. It was slow going and I wasn't exercising much. Still, it was progress and I really made some improvements in my eating habits. With my particular thyroid issue, if I lose weight too quickly, I start to retain water, so slow is how it's going to be whether I want to or not. Knowing that has stopped me from jumping on many fad diets and "fixes" and programs so in a way, it's a blessing.

In January of this year, I got super sick with the flu, an intestinal infection, gallbladder issue, and extremely elevated blood sugars. I ended up in the ER and then, shortly afterwards, my doctor who analyzed my blood work and diagnosed me as pre-diabetic. I knew I was prone to that as I'd had horrible gestational diabetes and there's family history on my dad's side, which I tend to physically favor. My doctor spoke very firmly to me about this being a defining moment in my life and that I had two choices- deal with this now and develop a healthier lifestyle or ignore it and have ongoing illness and shorten my life span. The man does not mince words and it totally got my attention.

I wasn't eating horribly, but I started eating more blood sugar balancing foods and paying better attention to that. I also got back to the gym- regularly. I think that has made the biggest difference for me. I dabbled in Zumba in years past, but something about it this time really appealed to me. Since February, I'm at the gym 5-6 days a week. I never, ever thought I could love exercising, but now I can't wait to get to the gym. I mostly do Zumba, but I also do weights and throw in a little treadmill and elliptical action.

My Zumba peeps, this has made all the difference in the world!

I'm very happy to say that I recently hit my 50 lbs down mark. I am no longer in the pre-diabetic or even pre-pre-diabetic. My thyroid levels are not fluctuating and I can't tell you the last time I had an asthmatic reaction to exercise. 

Anyway, here's the before and after. Wish I had better photos, but I'm camera shy of the full body thing.  It's a little sad that there isn't a huge difference considering how much has been lost, but I'm never going to be a skinny gal and I love my new muscles, so that's a-okay with me. This is back in June, so I've lost more since then. I still have 25 or so before I'm at my goal.

Posting to Post

Hi... Hello... Yes, I still blog... occasionally. I'm just totally in love with Instagram at the moment so my attention has been over there more. If you want to follow me, I'm also TheRiCharmedLife on there. I have to warn you though, I break all the rules of what a good Instagram should be. I post pictures of my kids, my dog, selfies, my food, my art and stuff I'd like to sell. I should really tidy it up, but I don't really care to. Take me or leave me! The crazy thing is I'm almost to five hundred followers, even after the great spam account clean up of January. 

We celebrated our 12th anniversary earlier this month.

In other news- my baby brother is getting married!!! I leave at the crack of dawn (ugh...) Thursday morning to fly up to the big MO for the festivities. It's going to be a very small wedding, but I'm staying almost a whole week, so I'm hoping to see lots of family during that time. And get this, I'm going all by myself. I'm entrusting my darling babies to Jason and God. Hopefully all will go well. I'm not expecting much- alive and in good health works for me.

My bro & I back in the Y2K days...

Hope you all have a lovely spring break. Remember to protect your skin and hydrate! That is all.

Pork Roast & Kale Stew

I got a new Crock Pot yesterday so I had to give it a test run today! It's cool for Florida today and I'm still getting a feel for my new low carb regiment so I decided on a hearty stew.

Here's the recipe:

  • 1.5 lb pork roast
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled & halved
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and coarsley chopped
  • 3 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 cups of raw kale, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • Salt, to taste 
  • Black or cayenne pepper, to taste

This recipe is intended to be prepared in a medium sized Crock Pot.
Put the pork roast in the crock pot completely whole. Add in halved onion, raw carrots & celery, and kale. (If you are a kale-lover, you can add an additional cup without affecting the flavor at all.) Pour stock on top. Turn the Crock Pot on high and cook for four (4) hours. After four hours, turn off and shred the pork in the broth. (If you prefer, you can add a pinch of salt and/or black or cayenne pepper at this point.) Stir and then let it sit for half an hour and then serve.

Bag Lady

Maybe it's because they always fit or it's easy to change them out, but I've got a thing for purses! Any size, most colors, whatever materials- as long as I think it's interesting or pretty or just the right size, I will want it. I'll admit that in the past I've spent way to much on bags that caught my eye, but in the last few years, I'm much more restrained- mostly 'cause I'm out of room! I love Etsy because I can use a vintage purse a couple years and then let it find it's next home (unless it was grandma's, most of those I have a hard time parting with). I also love the handmade selection on Etsy. JuneberryStitches, bedeckle, bohoEco, GypsyThread, DesignsByCritelli, GraceDesign are a few of my current favs.

Please enjoy these gorgeous bags, all available on Etsy, at least until I save up and buy them all (wah ha ha ha...)! If you want to beat me to it, click on the shop name and it will take you there.

From Bedeckle
From TimeWarpJunkie
From GypsyThread

From bohoECO
From JuneberryStitches

From DesignsbyCritelli
From TheVintageCurve

From GraceDesign

 This is my drool list, if you share similar tastes, you might like my Pinterest board: Bag Lady
(If you've got a great purse board, post it in the comments!)
So are you also a purse lover or is it just utilitarian to you?

I'm a Winner!

One of my favorite blogs that I follow is  Artsnark's Artifacts. Stacey is an amazing photographer and just a great artist all around. I have a print of the art below hanging on my wall right now.

Hibernate by Stacey Merrill, ACEO available at Artsnark's Artifacts on Etsy.

As a fan, I was thrilled to win her January giveaway. The prize was a Michael's giftcard, a set of inspirational beaded wire words, and an illustrated quote book that features some of Stacey's artwork. She also threw in the crayon rocks for my kiddos just because she's awesome like that! 

Quite a haul! Follow the Artsnark's Artifact blog to get in on future giveaways.

The lovely wire words over one of the book illustrations, Ring of Fire by Jennifer J. Rodriquez.

The Year of the Purge

"Over the Hill" by Roxanne Tobaison, ACEO available in the Watercolors N' More shop on Etsy.

If you follow the Chinese zodiac, then you are aware that 2015 is the Year of the Sheep. However, for me & my family, it is the Year of the Purge! (Now I'm not promoting eating disorders, so purge that thought from your mind!) We are in simplify mode. We need to make a room for Jane (check out the Pinterest board for that) so we're transforming a storage area into that. That means our garage will be our main storage area and it desperately needs cleaning out and organizing. Currently I've got boxes and boxes of vintage inventory for my Etsy shop out there. Purging that is hard because it's my livelihood and a lot of it was my grandparents, so that makes it harder for me to part with. Still, I have to start somewhere, so I'll be trudging through that task, but I'm determined to get it under control and give Jane the space she needs.

Chalkboard finish framed dry erase calendar from  Birchwood Crafts.

Another thing I'm going to be purging is my HUGE load of commitments. I'm over-committed and have been for the last couple years. Mentally, I've become much more forgetful and I'm just stressed out a lot. I'm starting to see physical ramifications from it. When the doctor, my husband, my besties and my heart tell me I'm doing to much, I'd be a fool not to listen. I know I face disappointing  people, but they'll get over it and it's going to make my life better, so it's worth it. I'm still figuring out what is staying and what is going, and there is some second guessing, but if I needed any encouragement to follow through with this, then the tension headache I've had since New Years Day is a constant prodding.

Budget worksheets from Lemon & Lime Printables

The last thing that I'm actively purging is debt! This is something that Jason and I are really excited about. We did Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University last fall- with some skepticism and trepidation- but it turned out to be a wonderful experience for both our marriage and our bank account. I don't know how we managed to be married 10+ years and not talk in depth about our finances, but that's how it was. Now we share a vision of where we want to be down the road and we're on the same page as far as how to get there. We paid off all our credit cards last fall and are now tackling the last non-mortgage debt we owe.

So that's the theme/game plan/resolutions for 2015. I think all these things are very doable, it's just going to take some determination and elbow grease!

Merry Christmas from The Richarmes!

With one week until Christmas, I can definitively say that I will not be sending out Christmas cards this year. I've managed to the last couple years, but this year, I just had too much on my plate to even think about getting a family portrait or even ordering thoughtful cards. I'd rather not send anything than to send a generic card with just a signature and no little note or anything. That's just me though. I do feel a little guilty though as I absolutely love all the cards we've received in the mail this year. So here's my compromise- consider this an online Christmas card from us to you!

Hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

(Jane was not unhappy, by the way, she just was not going to give up a smile this afternoon. =p)

My Etsy Wishlist!

It's no secret that I'm an Etsy girl. All year long I browse and favorite things, if I was a good girl this year, maybe one or two of these will end up under the Christmas tree! They're all from sellers in the USA so that's pretty "nice", right? ;p

 I am all over the hair stuff this winter. Check out this gorgeous clip:

from Lost Years Vintage

For the home, this awesome bat hook:

from The Tim Woodsman

Here's something else batty I desire:

from Zulasurfing

This trio of cloisonne boxes is just delightful and useful:

from Pollygolightly

This one is a little sad as my dear pekingese is probably not going to be around many more Christmases:

from Confetti Monster

Last, but not least, something very practical!

from King Stitch Studios

Older Posts

Swidget 1.0