Wednesday, August 31, 2011

September, October, November

I love having my own little shop.  And I also love promoting other good online shops, especially when they're run by fellow at-home moms.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Hey everybody!  I just finished listing a couple fun new items in THE SHOP and I wanted you guys to have first grabs at 'em.  

'Cuz, you know, we're tight like that.  :)  Woot woot!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Living With Less: Buying Less to Begin With

First, a bit about last night.

I'll talk more about how we moved another time.  It's an entire post (or series) on its own.  But what you should know that applies directly to last night is this: we didn't get a moving truck.  We mailed about 10 boxes to ourselves and loaded the rest in our own car.

Continue in Patience

Friday, August 26, 2011

Living With Less: Kitchen Utensils

You know what's not convenient?  Things that are supposed to make life easier.  As a general rule, anyway.

Maybe that's a little over the top, but it does hold true with most of the things that you find yourself tripping over in the kitchen.

In other words, "convenience" items like melon ballers and orange peelers and cherry pitters--things that are only good for one task (and typically a task that you don't encounter daily)--are not deserving of space in your kitchen.

Consider the following:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Living With Less: Guilt

Here's something I think we all have a lot of (and that we could do with a lot less of):


I have a lot of guilt.  Maybe it's just me.  But I don't think it is.  

On any given day I may feel guilty about any/all of the following:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Living With Less: Books, Books, Books

Think about Disney's Beauty and The Beast.  Think about that library that the Beast gives Belle.  Now think about your own home.

It's never going to happen.

Just a quick note

Thifted hurricane lantern  and one of Bryan's custom portraits
Hey guys.  I just wanted to pop in for a minute and give (another) quick explanation about what's going on around here.  Last night I stayed up until 3am and wrote the first three Living With Less posts in a new series I've been wanting to start for months.  And, now that I've started, I'm kind of on a roll.  So you might be seeing this logo a lot for a while:

Living With Less: Where to Start

Getting started on Living With Less can be downright overwhelming.  If it's not, then you're probably already Living With Less.  If so--kudos to you!  Go sip some lemonade and read a book.  The rest of us will be busy tunneling through our closets.

Living With Less: THE Intro

I know I just wrote An Intro to The Intro two minutes ago, but, in my head, these were two separate posts.  So I've just gotta roll with it that way.  :)

Let me start by tell you what Living With Less is NOT:
There's an article in the recent August 2011 issue of the Martha Stewart Living magazine that I've been thinking about a lot lately.  Now I love Martha Stewart and the magazines she publishes.  But there is something about this article in particular that drives me crazy.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Living With Less: An Intro to the Intro

I've had this in my head to write about for months now.  I'm passionate about it.  It's deeply important to me.  And I want so much to share it.  And, like most things I feel that way about, I'm not quite sure how or where to start in telling you about it.  So I've decided to start by telling you that I'm going to start.  It could take me a long time to feel like I've "finished" what I want to say.  It could take me a week.  I don't really know.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Super Simple Crown

Bryan and I teach the 5 year old primary class at church.  A week or two ago, the lesson called for a crown. Yours truly whipped one up on the spot.  

If you'd like to do the same, you'll need:

Some people

Oh.  Did I just say that out loud?

Design above: By me
Bitterness: Acute
Solution: A really nice camera... and lessons on how to use it... someday.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Blessings of Scripture-400th Anniversary of the KJV Bible

Today is the first time ever in my life when I've had to miss church to go to work instead.  Today I am most especially grateful for a personal copy of the scriptures.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Part Dos: Backing Myself Up

Thanks everyone for the kind comments you left on the post I wrote last night.  I wanted to take a minute to clarify/defend what I said.

First of all, mostly I was saying it to be funny.  Cuz, ya know, I'm funny.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The truth is

I like to stay up late.  I always have.  I remember the time when I was a kid and my older brother and his friend and I decided to stay up all night playing Monopoly and eating junk food.  The unexciting thing about it is that it really wasn't such a big deal to me.  Fun to be with my brother and his friend, but not so hard to stay up.  It's just me.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Worth of A Soul

My cute new red shoes I scored at the thrift store.

The sad and boring truth is, I've been way too busy to blog lately.  A very little bit of that busyness has been fun crafting and creating and preschool planning and hanging out with the family.  The rest has all been work.  As in, working at my job.  I won't be working full time once Bryan goes back to school, but I am still working quite a bit right now.  And I have something I'd like to say.

Unless a family member is dying or there is some real tragedy going on in your life, there probably hasn't been anything so bad in your day that it justifies being rude and mean to well-meaning cashiers at the store.  Your kid is screaming?  Not their fault.  You're running late?  Not their fault.

Oh, and--by the way?--if you bring an expired coupon and it doesn't work, that's not their fault either.  And, furthermore, it's absolutely ridiculous to think of yourself as being so high and mighty as to expect someone to make an exception for your expired coupon.  If the manager does make an exception, you should feel grateful, not justified.  Just thought I'd throw that out there.  Bogus, I know.

Following along with our lesson today, let's have a little quiz.

People who work in retail stores are:

  • A: Slaves who should do whatever I command.
  • B: Brainless droids with no soul.
  • C: Too dumb and unqualified to get a "real" job.
  • D: Real people too.

In the past two days I've had people swear at me when I was helping them at the checkout.  Because I was throwing their stuff on the floor and stomping on it?  No.  Because I was being really rude to them?  No.  No, on both occasions it was in spite of the fact that I was being super polite to them.  So why were they being so rude?

Well, the first lady was just a little crazy to begin with, but her final offense was the fact that I entered her coupons in in the wrong order and she had to wait a few minutes while a manager straightened things out.  Nevermind the fact that I'm still brand new and told her so.

And my second offender?  Was outraged because I was following store policy (and probably every store's policy these days) and wouldn't let him use a credit card that wasn't signed and that he didn't have ID to match.  (It was his wife's card.)  Sorry, sir.  Sorry for protecting your wife's credit and making sure other random people can't just pick up her card and do the same thing.

Some people will always be cranky and unreasonable.  But the rest of us--can't we make it a point to be nice?  Even to the person at the checkout?  Because you never know.  They might just be really nice normal people who would rather stay home and play with their daughter.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back to Schoolness

It's just getting to be that time of year again.  School time.  Time for fresh new pencils.  Shoes that squeak a little when you walk because they're so new.  A bright box of crayons.  Notebooks.  And the excitement of a new challenge.

For many of you moms, this time of year is old hat.  You're pros.  You know all the tricks.  For others, this is the first time sending a kiddo out the door.  And for the rest of us, we're just working on doing our best at home until the time comes to send our little ones off on that big yellow school bus.

I'm definitely in that last group.  The group of moms with a kid home all day who soaks in everything I put in front of her.  So this year I'm trying to give her more of the good stuff.  Less television and shows.  More books and coloring and counting.  Less nothing.  More fun.  More meaning.

A friend and I are teaming up to take this at-home preschooling business to the next level.  And one of the tools we plan to incorporate into our fun little lessons?  Some good, simple flashcards.

(with punctuation)

(with math symbols)

I've noticed more and more of you scooping them up these past few days as you're getting ready for the school season and I am so delighted.  So, in case any of you are looking for some fun, fresh, and effective flashcards to use for your kiddos, I just thought I'd draw your attention to them in the shop.

The Alphabet and Numbers flashcards are especially great even for school age children.  Having the common punctuation and math symbols really expands the usability of these sets so you can adapt them to the needs of your growing child.  Spelling practice?  Math equations?  No problem!

Unfortunately, I can't lower the price for a special sale because they're already super cheap.  And I've already got a special package deal for you too.  So I thought instead I'd go ahead and make you a fun little promise.

For this week only (August 15-20) when you buy ANY set of flashcards (the single sets or the combo packs), I'll throw in one of the fun Weather Matching Game sets for FREE!

  Sound good?

Getting ready for school is fun.  Or, at least, it should be.  :)

See you in the shop!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Crazy Lately

Things have been crazy lately.  So much going on.  So many big important decisions to make.  So much information we didn't have a few weeks ago that we have now.  So many changes in life and in plans.  It's been a crazy roller coaster.


None of our really big plans have changed.  Bryan's of course still starting optometry school in the fall.  (Uhh... I just tried to think of our other big plans, but apparently we don't have any.  Haha.)

So I guess this is just my way of saying that just because I haven't been posting on the ol' blog, there has still been a lot going on.  But it's been the nitty gritty boring stuff in life that's not really entertaining to blog about.  And it involves too many little specific details about our lives.

But the main thing that all of you will care to know is this: I get to stay home with Olivia this year after all!  I may still work a little in the evenings here and there (we'll see), but the plan by and large now is to just have me stay home with the Bolivia.  And I could not be more thrilled about it.

Also, I'm SUPER excited to start doing regular at-home preschool with Olivia when Bryan goes back to school.  I'm going to be doing it with a good friend and her kid who's about the same age as Olivia.  We already have so much planned.  It's so fun.

And, I made something for the upcoming preschool year that's pretty cute, super easy, and very versatile.  So you can all look forward to that in the future.

Anyway, life has been crazy.  Not bad.  Just crazy.  :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hi, I'm Katie. And I'm a Mormon.

I think you guys already knew that.  But if you want to read more about me being a Mormon (a.k.a. a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), feel free to stop by and check out my little profile.

Admittedly, there's not tons and tons of information there on my profile yet.  So if you ever want to know more, feel free to shoot me an e-mail any old time.  :)

Anyway, have fun reading all about me!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Easy Peasy Toothpick Flags Tutorial

Step 1: Gather supplies*
Step 2: Punch two holes
Step 3: Locate holes
Step 4: Slide toothpick through holes

  • Cute little flags cut from cardstock
  • Toothpicks
  • 1/8" hole punch

I made several of these for a little 4th of July BBQ we had at our place.  (Uhh, yeah, I know I'm posting this a month late.  That's what the cool kids do.)  These little flags would obviously be super cute in cupcakes and whatnot.  But I didn't make any cupcakes.  Instead we stuck them in things like cherry tomatoes and slices of bell pepper.  Makes you want to eat veggies, right?

Try not to be too jealous of our classy chandelier.

Here you can see what was basically the rest of the decorations for our little shindig.  And all the food our friends brought to share.  And my friend Alice.  With a hot dog.

If you look really closely at the picture above you can also see some cute little toothpick label things I made.  It's a blue circle of card stock with a white scallop edge circle of card stock on top, with a toothpick taped on the back.  I set them out so people could label the dishes they brought if they wanted to.  I'd put up a bigger picture of them, but either I didn't take one or I can't find it.

Quite literally From The (new) Red Kitchen 

Anyway, let me know if you make any of these fun little flags!  But, just so you know, they're so easy that they're really addicting.  Don't say I didn't warn you.  :)

Oh yeah, if you make some, you should totally add pictures to the new Flickr group.  That would be fun.  :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Expressions of Love

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I bought a watch

It's true.  I bought a watch.  A nice little cheap-but-I-like-it one for $15 at the big T.  I have a cooler watch, but I needed a different one (not to mention, one that the back hasn't fallen off of).  Why not just use the clock on my cell phone like I've been doing for years?  Because I can't have it on me.  Why?

Because I got a job.

You may not hear me say much more about it here, but in case I am actually able to keep up with that, my family, and my blog and shop, I just want you all to be appropriately impressed.

Do I think this is the right thing for our family right now?

Do I feel sad thinking about leaving 
this kid for a few hours each day?


But do I trust that she's having a blast at home with her Daddy?


Would I trust her in the hands of kangaroos?

Maybe not.

(Though they are funny.)

I know this post will probably leave some of you with a lot of questions.  But I think it's important not to talk about employment on a personal blog.  So I won't be talking about where I work or too much about why I've chosen not to stay at home with Bolivia for now.

But I will say this:  We are fine.  There's nothing to worry about.  Bryan is still starting optometry school in the fall.  This is just a part of that process.  I hope you won't judge me and my family.

And I hope you'll cherish every moment at home with your kids.  :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

B T Dubbs

Last night I spent some time working on some much-needed updates in the ol' shop.  Apparently with moving and whatnot, I forgot to ever post individual listings for sets of red, yellow, or blue buttons.  Kind of ironic that I never got around to listing the primary colors.  Ha.

Anyway, I am now pleased to inform you that individual listings of red, yellow, and blue are now available!  Yippie!

And perhaps just as exciting (I know, you're all on so stoked about this, right?), I also got around to another important shop update.  There are now at least two listings of everything!  Hooray!  So now if you want to go hog wild and order two sets of the exact same buttons, you can!

Of course, if you ever want to order a bajillion, you can always send me an e-mail or etsy convo and I'll hook you up with a custom order.  I'm still cool like that.  But hopefully the multiple listings will help everything run a little more smoothly.

And, finally, because I'm feeling excited about these somewhat meaningless updates (that took me well over an hour last night) it's FREE SHIPPING for all!

From now until midnight on Saturday (August 6, 2011), you can receive free shipping on all your orders when you enter the coupon code "FREESHIPPING" at checkout.  

Rad, no?

Happy shopping!

P.S. Want FREE SHIPPING on a custom child's portrait?  Check out this post.  Toodaloo!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Heart Shirt, Heart Shorts

She love love loves these, by the way.

Olivia's been in need of some more clothes.  A lot of her shirts are getting too short.  She doesn't have nearly enough shorts for all the heat we've been having.  And she's also low on warm-weather PJs.  So, I've been trying to remedy the problem.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bryan Lewis Studio

Welcome to the GRAND OPENING of 

My husband Bryan has opened his own Etsy shop!  And I think you're going to love what he's offering.

Custom child's portraits!  On canvas!  So cool!

Here's a sample of his work.
The image on the left is the customer photo.  The image on the right is the custom portrait!

How it works:
  • Place your order
  • Receive a confirmation e-mail
  • Reply with the photo that you'd like to be used for the custom portrait
  • Receive a custom portrait of your child!

Bryan's opening rates are already insanely low, but we wanted to give you all a little something sweeter for being such awesome and supportive readers.  :)  How does, oh, free shipping sound?

Enter the coupon code "REDKITCHEN" at checkout and receive free shipping!  This offer is good until Bryan tells me to take it down!  So hurry and snatch it up while you can!

Custom portraits are perfect for family gifts, decorating your home, and baby's nursery.

Place your order today!