Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Making A Small Difference

The holidays are about generosity and giving from the heart. It's about more than just presents, despite what society wants us to believe.  Witnessing the news reports of black friday shoppers gone wild, I was abhored by the behavior of my fellow holiday shoppers.  Seriously people? Seriously!  We can do better.

Here's a short list of ways I'm going to try to be better this holiday season.
1) I will park in the back row of the mall and walk rather than cursing when someone takes "my" parking spot.
2) I will give any change I have to the salvation army whenever I enter a store with a bell ringer.
3) I will say thank you to my cashier, even if I had to wait in a really long line. 
4) I will give thanks daily for my amazing family
5) I will try really hard not to stress myself or others if the holiday isn't "perfect."

Yes, I'm not going to change the world with this. But wouldn't the world be just a little bit nicer if we all made an effort to be just a little kinder, especially this month.

Looking for a super easy way to do something good for someone else this holiday season?  Even better-- it won't cost you a thing.

Primrose Schools is announcing the return of their 2nd annual Cans for Fans virtual food drive. Now through December 31, Primrose Schools will donate one can of food for every new "like" they receive on their Facebook page. Not only that, they will donate two cans of food every time a fan "shares" the Cans for Fans status post. I did my part and you can too! 


Friday, November 18, 2011

5x7 Folded Card

Oh So Joyful Christmas Card
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5x7 Folded Card

Peppermint Bliss Christmas Card
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Drinking Green--week 1

Smoothies that is.
Last Monday I began my effort to eat better.  I have been inspired by my recent review of Beth Aldrich's Real Moms Love to Eat book.  One challenge for week one is to drink green smoothies in place of your normal breakfast routine.
I've never been a morning shake kind of girl.  On the surface, it sounds a little counter-intuitive.  See, I usually ate cereal or toast, but I was starving by 10:00--not cool.  Drinking a shake sounded crazy since how could a liquid fill me up--it has no crunch, no substanance.  But you know me, I'm crazy enough to try anything once.  I figured I could give it a week since I didn't really have anything to lose.

Green smoothies are more than just your typical fruit and juice in a blender combo.  Per the recipe, I also add a scoop of protein powder (vanilla soy in my case) and green powder, and ground flax seed--all of which were purchased on a recent visit to my sister and the Whole Foods in Columbus. (Money saving tip on the flax seed-- I bought bulk whole flax seed at 2.99/lb and used my sister's coffee grinder to make ground flax seed for half the cost!)


Friday, November 11, 2011

My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Software Review and #Giveaway

Kat's Adventure Book the blog earned it's title from my own personal scrapbook that I've nicknamed my adventure book.  I started it around my senior year of high school.  It's an old school scrapbook from my grandmother.  You know, solid black construction like paper, funny long rectangle shape, very retro-green marble covers.  Tied together with what might pass for a shoe string.
Despite it's outward hideousness, I love my adventure book.  Within it's pages I have documented all of the amazing places I've been.  There are pictures from studying abroad in France and pictures from our family vacation in Yellowstone.  There are tons of pictures from fishing in Canada, or trips to the U.P.
I took tons of photos while we lived in Savannah, but since I left my scrapbook gear at home--I had planned to work on it when we moved back. Except now we have another adventure--Peanut.  Scrapbooking is so time consuming it is probably the lowest of the low on my priority list. Another challenge is the organizational space factor.  Our Red Room once was my personal craft room--this was ideal since I could leave a work in progress spread across the floor of the room, close the door and it would be fine.
Now with Peanut I sometimes feel that resentment an older sibling feels toward the younger sibling.  I used to have my own craft room.  Now I share it with the baby since the guest bed in that room has become his downstairs changing table.  That means extra organization in the craft room and definitely no leaving anything out--ever.  Please don't misunderstand me--I love my son.  I only miss my personal craft space.

I think that's why I am most excited about My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Software.  They contacted me to download and review a copy of their My Memories Suite Version 2.0,  I admit, I was apprehensive at first.  I wasn't sure exactly what digital scrapbooking was, how this package would work or even if I'd have time for it.  To my delight, I have been completely amazed and impressed.  I far surpassed my expectations and I definitely can find time.

No more pulling out those drawers of papers, special scissors, trimmers, sorting photos, spending hundreds on embellishments, making a complete mess of your craft room..... This software comes with everything you need.You will never "run out" of your favorite paper or find yourself one button shy of perfection. The step by step instructions make it super easy to use.

My Memories makes it easy to be as creative as you want--everything is fully customizable. Enlarge or shrink an embellishment to fit.  Change photo shapes or mats with a click.  For those with time constraints, preloaded album pages can help you finish an album in minutes--
These are some of my pages I literally created in just a few minutes.

I've used scrapbook like software online from companies like Shutterfly to create my photo books, but I found the My Memories suite far more intuitive. I also like that I own my pages and can print them out any time I like.  Oh, and if you don't find what you want in the basic package, you can add on extra paper and embellishment kits to give you even more creative flexibility.

My Memories Suite Version 2.0  has applications beyond scrapbooks.  I'm thinking of making my family calender and Christmas cards using this software. I've also updated my button--check it out.  I'm working on a new cute banner too. Like I said--infinite possibilities.  If you are super amazing with technology--you can even add audio and video clips too.

Want to get your own copy of the My Memories Suite Version 2.0?
You can buy it online from My Memories for 39.99

You could be the winner of my giveaway.  Just use the Rafflecopter form below.  Contest ends at 12:01 AM on November 29th.  Enter now! (You may need to select the "read more" link to view rafflecopter form)


Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall in Love with Food: Book Review-- Real Moms Love to Eat

Fact:  I need to eat better.
Fact: I want to eat better.
Fact: I make way to many excuses for why I don't eat better.

There was a time when I really loved to cook. I think this was especially true during the first year I moved into my own house.  I did all of my shopping--my trick for avoiding bad snack choices was simple--I didn't buy them.  This doesn't mean I didn't eat them, especially when going to my parents' house--but I didn't have them tempting me in my house.  I ate good and I felt great--without working too hard, I dropped 3-4 sizes over about a year or two span.  This was incredible for me, because I'd always been the same size since seventh grade no matter how much I tried to diet.

But I wasn't dieting, and I wasn't working out,  I was just eating better.  I loved food and I loved to cook too. I could spend an hour in Williams-Sonoma dreaming about new gourmet tools, drooling over their glossy colored recipe books and scheming excuses to make something new.  I felt like I was destined for true culinary genius--and did I mention I felt great.  I was fitting in to a new dress size for each major formal dance--which meant a regular rewarding shopping trip.  I was finally able to have a selection of dresses that would fit to choose from--instead of settling for the lesser of two evils because it was all they had in my size.

I regret to report that whatever I was doing right faded away.  It's hard to define the exact moment when things definitively began to take a turn for the worse. I think it all started when I became involved with some poor influences.   I started dating a guy who insisted on eating out regand cooking decadent foods--hello pumpkin ice cream.  My job became super stressful--the return of the anxious eating habits. The school I worked for closed and the idiot dumped me--more self-loathing and pity eating.
I moved in to an uninspiring apartment with a galley kitchen.  To make it worse--it was an hour drive to the nearest Williams-Sonoma (oh the humanity).   I worked late nights and was too tired to cook when I came home. Then I became pregnant and nothing sounded good or tasted good except Popsicle.  Since the baby, I have felt so drained when I get home from work that we settle for the over processed boxed foods.... Oh how this downward spiral compounded with baby fat I never lost has brought me back to that dreaded size I was back in seventh grade and all through high school and college.

I did love to eat--but now food is just something to fill the empty.  I've been so uninspired.  I think that's why I'm pinning some hope on Beth Aldrich's new book Real Moms Love to Eat How to Conduct  Love Affair with Food, Lose Weight and Feel Fabulous.  This isn't some fly-by-night diet fad.  It's really about returning that spark in your food romance by learning to fall in love with the right foods and lifestyle that will treat you like the person you know you want to be.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lets Do Lunch #Review

I have packed my lunch for just about as long as I can remember.  In grade school, I could buy lunch, but only on special occasions.  It was a big deal when I got the privileged of buying.  In high school we were all too cool to buy the institutional school lunch--though I'd occasionally buy pizza or a bagel.  Packed lunches have always been a part of my life--with little or no fanfare about it.

When I was younger I had cool lunch boxes.  They featured Snoopy or Popples.  That was one of the exciting parts of  back to school shopping.  As we get older, the joy of the lunch box fades.  Colorful characters  a slowly replaced by solid colors, then brown paper. In my "professional" years, in an attempt to be slightly more green I stopped purchasing disposable brown paper bags and began reusing plastic grocery bags. Economical, green and very uninspiring.

That's why I am so beyond elated to have the opportunity to review a Built Gourmet Getaway Large Insulated Lunch Bag, French Bull Series in shadow flower from  This is quite possibly the cutest lunch bag I've had in my life for a very, very long time.  No more embarrassingly practical grocery bag for me!  


Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I am absolutely honored that I have been awarded the Liebster Blog Award.  Thank you to Cute Coconut for this award.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween

This wasn't Jack's first Halloween--but for all intents and purposes it might just as well have been.  Sure we dressed him up last year--but he didn't go trick-or-treating.  It was way too cold and he was way too little.