Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wedding Motif

It is a colossal challenge pulling off a Jewish and Kenyan wedding in West Texas. A wall was built in China. Pyramids were built in Egypt. A liberty statue was built in New York City.

But none have faced this.

Here it if folks! I have put together my dream wedding reception, and this is it. And yes, you are seeing correctly, those are nerf guns. The reception hall in my collage is in fact my actual reception venue. The walls are very neutral, so that means I can pretty much throw in as much color as I want. And while I am tempted to create a reception that looks like a rainbow threw up all over it, I will restrain myself. Maybe just pockets of rainbow splashes, like having a different color bouquet of roses at each table. I hate to be cliche, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE blue mason jars, so I will be using them. I am going to become the Omnipotent DIY Queen by the time this thing is over.

And holy Moses! I can't believe I am getting married in 6 months!

I suppose I don't have a theme, but I have an idea of things that I like. Besides, I don't really like the word "theme". It always reminds me of the teacher in "a Christmas Story".

or some sort of Luau

Until next time, cheers!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday's Munchies: January 14th


Okay, so I did not stray far from last week's lunch. That's because I am super busy! But I WILL create some time to research more awesome lunch ideas this week. I have included a few tidbits about what this meal will add to your life :0)

1 cup of Fresh Blueberries: 80 calories

Blueberries contain vitamin C and K and are a powerful antioxidant. They have shown to protect against cancer, heart disease, and improve memory. And they are tasty!

1 cup of Raw Baby Carrots 35 calories

Here's the scoop on baby carrots: They are whittled down from real carrots then packaged, thus you will lose some of the nutrients in the process. However, they are perfect to pack for lunch. If you wanted more nutrients, I would advise peeling and chopping up organic carrots. However, I don't have time for that! They are still a good source of vitamin A (which is good for your eyes, prevents cataracts) and potassium, which can help blood pressure. Not only that, but I think that the carrots are what helps me to feel "full" all day, and they are low in calories!

Chicken/Spinach Mini Wrap 180 calories

I am guessing a little at the calories here. I want to emphasize that they are MINI wraps (like, the ones for kids, only 60 calories each), not the big burrito sized ones. What I did at the beginning of the week was cut some raw chicken into pieces, then pan grill them with a little bit of seasoning. I add about 5 or 6 of those pieces into the wrap (along with some raw spinach) for my protein intake for my workout later. I put in A LOT of spinach, which is good for fiber and another powerful antioxidant. It is virtually NO CALORIES and makes you feel full. How can you go wrong with that? This portion makes me feel like I'm having an actual "meal".

18 Pieces of Cheddar Rice Cakes 70 calories

These are for my sanity. I have a love affair with CHEESE. Not very conducive to a svelte/foxy body. On top of me getting my cheese fix, they are rich in fiber and give me carb energy for my workouts. It also seems like you can each a whole bunch for little calorie intake. I like to snack on these a couple of hours after lunch.

1 Cup Chobani Greek Honey Yogurt 150 calories

This is full of protein and is sweetened naturally by "just honey". Greek yogurt all around is creamy and pretty good, but I think I prefer the cottage cheese of last week better. That was less calories as well.

On a positive note, I lost 3 pounds since last week! I only went to the gym twice and skipped a few of my stairs rounds, but I am getting pretty consistent with it. Also, my Kenyan husband-to-be is introducing me to his foods which are actually really healthy-lots of kale, cilantro, and other leafy greens. He looks pretty fit without even working out, so I'm going to try it his way. Recipes to come!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


I detest the concept of a "diet". It even has the word DIE in it!

It also gives the impression that there is an end. Not true. Healthy living is a choice, and I am all about choices. However, lots of diet foods and plans are boring and leave me unsatisfied. I still feel like I'm missing something. I don't think I've ever met anyone who has stayed on a particular diet and is still on it 25 years later. So what I have done is to "choose" to change the way I feel about food. I'm no longer going to look at it as something overly awesome or overly terrible.

Variety is key for me. It is the key to keeping me healthy, and the key to assist with losing weight. I am getting married in 6 months, so now is the perfect time to kickstart this new change. I am your average person. I work 8-10 hours a day at a sit down desk job. I also have my Etsy business after that. I barely have time to do my laundry and cook dinner, much less be a dedicated fitness person. And after a long day of work, I just want to chill on the couch with my little dog and watch Big Bang Theory with a glass of Reisling. Did I mention that I love food? I LOVE food! I even dream about food! But I can dedicate the time that I do have to a little bit of exercise and to plan good meals. The payoff is much bigger than what I will receive sitting on the couch. I can even watch Big Bang Theory while working out!

Here is the plan:

1. I work on the 3rd floor of a building. I'm going to stop taking the elevator.

2. I park in a huge parking lot. I am going to park as far away from my building as I can so that I will walk an extra way.

3.  Every two hours, I am going to take a trip down and up the stairs again for all three stories. I don't have to be Speed Racer. Maybe I'll work my way up to that, and do it every hour eventually.

4. I am going to work out for 45 minutes at least 3 days a week.

5. I am going to pack a healthy variety of food and I'm going to snack on it all day. No boring foods or teeny tiny portions allowed. And every Monday (with today being the exception, for today is Tuesday), I am going to show you what I am eating for lunch each week!


Peanut Butter Sandwich (one slice of bread): 300 calories
1 cup of fresh blueberries: 80 calories
1 cup of frozen peas and carrots: 75 calories
Low fat 2% cottage cheese cup: 90 calories
18 pieces of cheddar cheese rice cakes:  70 calories

I can hear the fat sizzling as we speak....

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Year Coupon Code: Just For My Blog Followers!

It's almost 2013-time for OUT with the OLD and IN with the NEW. Inventory that is.

Until January 2nd, please feel free to use the coupon code KARISNEWYEAR at my Etsy shop for a 10% discount and free gift.

Some New Items:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My New Mint Obsession

I seem to get obsessed with certain things from time to time. One time it was hot cheetos. Another time it was Fraggle Rock on DVD. I got one a few years ago with lawn gnomes, and that one seems to have not gone away. However, this one started last summer and is still lurking around. It's mint! The color, anyway.

I think because of the candy, mint the color perhaps bring out the perceptory senses that one has when one thinks of mint. Cool, clean, a small BURST of flavor. That's what I associate when I think of mint.  

Here are a few design ideas with this fantabulous color:

Fine Art Photo from LupenGrainne

Vintage Rotary Phone from Larch Trading Company

Upcycled shelf for co0lor coordinated tchochkas

I am in love with this piece from WhiteFauxTaxidermy

Mint Kitchen by Better Homes and Gardens

Mint Upcycled Dresser by Twice Lovely

Painted vintage vases by TheDustyNook

Vintage Jadite Saucers vy StayAtHomeVintage

Buddha Soap by HippigNL

Chunky Mint Necklace by Pree Brulee

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My First Craft Fair-What I Learned

Well, I did it! I survived my first craft fair. While I did sell items, it was the typical first craft fair fail lol.


1. Lots of people stopped to look at my items. The variety of my inventory did that all on its own.

2. I sold my earrings for one low flat price-my customers appreciated the ease of it and for not having to flip over things and ask about pricing.

3. Both adults and children seemed to be drawn to my space. Score for reaching a mass audience.

4. My DIY jewelry stands turned out really classy and I got lots of compliments on them. Tutorial to come!

5. My DIY earring cards came out great. Those who did not bring cash asked for a card (with my Etsy website on it) so that they could browse my shop later. They cost about $20 to make hundreds of them. Another tutorial to come!


1. The event itself was not well advertised. I googled it in the searches and checked facebook and other local informational avenues, and did not find anything on it. I knew this going into it. I was going more for the experience than the anticipated profit.

2. I wish I had obtained more decorative items to draw people in to my booth. Lots of people stopped by, but only after actually seeing what was on the table (my earrings were all laid flat). I think next time I will add more "landscaping" for "curb appeal".

3. Coffee. I forgot coffee. Terrible mistake.


All in all, it was a good experience. I am not yet as they say "rolling in the dough" and Martha Stewart has not yet knocked down my door for business tips, but now I can say I have officially done a craft fair and survived!

Monday, October 15, 2012


We all like to think we are Paula Deen. You would be lying if you said you don't.

Whether you are a stay at home mom/dad, work full time, or even have two full time jobs and have kids, I think we would all like to think we are supermen/women in what we can accomplish for our families and those who depend on us in a single day.

The reality is; sometimes you do not have enough hours in the day to be an exemplary employee/mom/dad and a gourmet cook. This is where this recipe comes in handy! 30 minutes tops, and people will think you have slaved away over a hot stove just to make them this tasty meal. Chili is a comfort food, and good on a chilly fall day. Lean turkey meat makes it even healthier. Like my other recipes, this is completely gluten free and even lactose free. With a small amount of effort and some already made items, this is ready to go in a snap.

You will need:
  • 2 packets of lean ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup of "already made" pico de gallo
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 teaspoons paprika
  • 3 tablespoons Gebhardt's Chili Powder (this is very important!)

1. Open up your two packets of turkey. Mix all of your dry spices in a bowl. Sprinkle those spices generously on both sides of the ground turkey.

2. Place your teaspoon of olive oil into a medium sized pot and turn on medium heat. Let it warm up for a few minutes.

3. Dump both seasoned turkey packets into the pot. Start breaking up the meat with a spatul. It will look like this:

4. Keep breaking up the meat and turning it over in the pot until the turkey is cooked through (should turn white and no pink should remain). If you keep doing that for a few minutes, it should look like this:

5. Once your tukey is completely cooked through, lower your heat setting to medium low on your stove. It is time to add your remaining ingredients. Slice up your celery in 1 inch bites, and drain the black beans and the diced tomatoes.

6. Dump into your pot the frozen corn, chopped celery, black beans, sliced tomatoes, and pico de gallo. Cover it with your pot lid and let it cook on low for about 10-15 minutes until thorough heated and ready for serving.

I'm going to let you all in on a little secret. The secret to many of my cooking successes:

This little bottle contains a powerful punch of flavor. It has enough kick to add some southwest smokiness to your dishes, but not so much that little ones or the faint at heart can't eat it.Very very flavorful. I can't say enough good things about Gebhardt Chili Powder. If I was on a remote desert island and could only pick one spice for the rest of my life to take with me, it would be this. We Texans have been using it since 1896.

Now you have a 30 minute meal that you can be proud of. You can even tell your family that you chopped everything by hand. Just remember to hide the evidence :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Craft Fair Display

I am back lovelies!

It's been awhile, between my hubby graduating, us getting married, him moving in...yeah no time for much anything. I am excited to get back to blogging with you all and getting creative again. My Etsy shops sure have been neglected these past couple of months!

The good news is that I have a huge holiday fair to prepare for on October 27th to kick start the process. I have always toyed with the idea of displaying my wares at a show, and the Holiday Mashup series that is going on in Lubbock might be a good place to start. I am always afraid that I'm going to look like someone who had way too much time on their hands who just kind of threw some "art projects" together but who won't sell very much. I really want to wow them with my display and my merchandise, so I have been searching the internet for creative displays for inspiration. And there are plenty!

I love the convenience of this display. Light to carry, cheap to make, and gives your booth a vintage home-feel. Think of all of the earrings I could hang on this thing! If you have a few of these, you needn't even bother with tables.

I love this concept because not only does it give some structure to your booth, but you can really use a monochromatic color scheme to make your items pop. Better yet, it provides more transparency for your customers so that you aren't hiding behind a huge display. But for my purposes, how will I make the frames stand up on a table by themselves? Perhaps mini easels? Definitely a contender and something to think about. 

And hey....maybe you could even sell the frame displays while you're at it!

This one I found on Etsy from datedbydesign (you can find the shop link below). I love it when people take simple office supplies and do something creative with them! Cork board + tacs = hanging objects, right? Simple concept, but in a way only a creative person would think of doing it. Cork is fairly cheap and with some thrift store frames and lots of tacs, you might have yourself a winner for a display. Or if you are in a time crunch and a little lazy like me, you can just buy some.

How about this! It appears to be a vintage cake stand that has been spraypainted. I think the architectural design of the layers will draw people in to the booth, adding some depth to the items.

This seems simple enough. A paper towel holder as a bracelet holder. When you have the many colors and patterns of the bracelets, it draws the eye in. I can see me doing this with multicolored vases from a thrift store. frees up table space for more inventory!

Another Esty find from AnitaSperoDesign. I can picture a few of these table top shutters for a distressed look that so many people like these days. The shabbiness and vintage...y-ness is sure to make new modern items pop for the display. 

I have a super cheap and cute idea for DIY earring cards that I am putting together-I will have a tutorial for those later in the week. I think I am off to a good start! I'm taking this first craft show as a learning experience-I will observe trends in how people are drawn into certain booths, different setup designs, what I did right, what to never attempt again...

If you have any advice or other bright ideas, please let me know!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Thrift Store Haul!

Thrift stores are my drug. Fortunately, they are also a necessity for my business, so I get to support my habit all the time. I came up with a few goodies today and already my mind is spinning with ideas to do for each one of them. I'll update these guys on a future Trash to Treasure post when I have flipped them :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Trash To Treasure: Eclectic Shabby Candle Holder Decor

I have had a busy busy couple of weeks. This is wedding season on Etsy, plus I've been running frantically around trying to secure a venue and chapel for my own wedding next summer (TIP: Plan this a year in advance! It is crazy how much time you need to plan!)
I did have time to pull together a few trash to treasure projects with multiple vintage brass candlesticks that I found in various thrift stores and estate sales.
It is amazing how a mismatched bunch of candle holders can really make a difference in a room. I myself keep about 20 that line my window sill of my guest bedroom. Architecturally, many of them have interesting shapes and designs. Most people who order them from me use them as dining table centerpieces, fireplace mantle decor, or in weddings and other parties (I have a Sweet 16 that I'm working on currently). Painting them adds a modern twist on a traditional concept.

What you'll need:
Trusty bottle of Mod Podge
Vintage metal candlesticks, the more mismatched the better
Choice of acrylic paint
Metal scrub brush
1. The trick to painting metal is to ensure it is thoroughly cleaned prior to painting. Some could be rusted, some could have risidual wax...all not condusive to the chemical makeup of paint. Wash briefly with a metal scrub brush and remove all unwanted damage to the holders. Don't be afraid to scratch it a little-that will just help the paint stick better later.

2. This will save you lots of time and money later: Add a layer of Mod Podge with your paintbrush onto the holders prior to painting. Allow about an hour to dry. This thickens up your surface so that you don't have to use as many coats of paint later.

3. Start painting the candlesticks. It could take 2 or 3 coats of paint. I find it helpful to paint in opposite directions (horizontally and vertically) in between each coat. While taking more time, this combination of sealant and paint is much prettier and last much longer than just spray painting them.

4. Once the holders are good and covered (and dry), apply a final coat of Mod Podge.

5. Put them in a pretty place and impress all of your friends!
OR.....if you don't have the time and patience, you could visit my Etsy shop and request a custom order and I could make them for you :)