{charmed earth}

The Lifestyle blog of Katie Storms.: something simple, something sweet, something styled.

11 November 2012

{something healthy} living with less sugar

I should be jumping up and down, cheering for myself like I cheered for my baby brother at the NCAA Cross Country Regionals on Friday. I'm down 25 pounds. But I'm so not even close to feeling good. I'm so not close to zipping up my old jeans and mini skirts. And I need something public to get me going. Here's a try at that.

My sister Lissa gave up sweets for an entire year, much like I gave up buying something new. Sweets are my downfall, especially sweets in small packages after Halloween has been over for a few weeks. I tried to limit myself to one a day--my friend Dede eats one cookie every day, just one. I can't do that either.

But I think I can give up sweets until Thanksgiving (with the exception of one delicious brownie this Tuesday night). It might make the pecan and pumpkin pie more sweet. It might make it special to have an extra slice the morning after.

Keep me honest. What are your best healthy tips? How do you let your virtues outweigh your vices?


08 November 2012

{something past due} a baby in a cat hat


My sister Lissa visited months ago. We went shopping at Baby Gap, and we snapped these photos of Penelope. I don't know which ones Lissa captured and which ones I captured. And I like that. Penelope Belle is around four and a half months here.

xo, katie

06 November 2012

{something pretty simple} three minute make up

One of my favorite parts of the morning--the part that drags me out of bed on Mondays--is getting ready: brushing my teeth, styling my hair, and painting on my make up. But on weekend mornings, I really don't feel like doing the whole routine {which is really only around 10 minutes}. It was also a life saver when Penelope was first born, and three minutes was all I could spare to make myself feel good.

My quick fixes include a tinted moisturizer, which acts as a concealer and foundation; eyeliner, which I can't live without; a sheer mineral eye shadow; blush; and a touch of mascara and lipgloss.

This routine seriously takes me less than three minutes. My favorite products are the Sonia Kashuk moisturizer from Target, which is $15, but lasts forever; Nars blush in Love Joy from Sephora, which is somewhat expensive, but it lasts me for the year, and I wear it almost daily; Bare Minerals intense black eyeliner; Bare Minerals mineral eye shadow in nude beach; Mary Kay lip gloss or Revlon lip gloss in pink afterglow; Fresh mascara; a Bare Minerals blush brush; and a Sonia Kashuk eye shadow brush.

04 November 2012

{something autumn} pumpkin hollow tradition

Driving down back roads in autumn has to be one of my favorite ways to pass the weekend. I think one of my favorite memories to date is our family trip down the back roads from Missouri to Arkansas a few weekends ago to Pumpkin Hollow. I knew the perfect pumpkin patch had to be hiding closer to the South than the city. And we were right.

Penelope smiled and giggled almost the entire time. And her curious fingers grabbed at the stems, so we just had to bring one home for our city bungalow porch. 

03 November 2012

{something DIY in 1999} collage photo matte

I've been wanting to do this "series" for months now. And who knows when I will find the time to post everything. But I'm always thinking: If I'd had a blog when I was in high school, the mid-late-late 90s, I would have had tons of projects to post.

This is one of my favorite projects. I've always loved framing photos of my friends and family. And creative photo frames are still one of my favorite gifts to give. Just thinking about it, I think I have about five other DIY in 1999 frame ideas I created in high school or college.

This is the only one I still have--I gave it to Johnny very early on when we were dating. For the record, the 90s ended by that time. But I still like the sound of the series "DIY in 1999." I gave all the frames away to some of my sorority sisters and family members.

My first step in creating these personalized mattes was cutting up my magazine stash. I think that might be the first step in about half of my DIY in 1999 projects. I also kept the words I cut in color families--a stack of autumn tones for Johnny, a stack of lavenders and maroons for my sorority sisters, and a stack of greens for my sister sister. And I color coordinated with the matte. The words I chose were supposed to be reflective of our relationship. If I was creating one of these mattes again, circa 2012, I think I'd try to write a found poem with them. Maybe. And sometimes I think I should paint the frame gold or black. But then I think the wood reminds me of the time I created it, and I don't want to erase any of that.

This frame is still on display in our home. It's something I'll never let go of in a million years. If there was a fire, I would even rush downstairs to grab it before leaving the house. The photo on display right now is from New Year's Eve a few years ago. But beneath it is a stack of photos from over the years. I like that the past is hiding behind the glass.

What would you post if you'd had a blog in high school and college?!


14 October 2012

{something past due}: hi

Photo by Cheryl M Photography
Johnny and I were driving around yesterday with the windows down listening to some Warren Zeevon hoping Penelope might catch a nap. And in the midst of our conversation, Johnny says: "You haven't posted a new blog in awhile."

Truth. Life these days is pretty packed--right now, I have very few things on my list: I nurse and cuddle and bathe Penelope; I catch a walk with the family; I study The Odyssey with my students; I grade papers; I cook, my new hobby; I snap photos with my iPhone; I catch an hour of Friday Night Lights; and I sleep. Oh. And I let go of something once a day {I'm on Day 44 now, and I've let go of 44+ things: it feels good}.

Typing it all out, it seems like I'm doing more than I thought. But compared to life just six months ago, I never realized how much I wasn't doing. So here's a blog post--a hope that I can post more later. And a note to know that if I don't, I'm happy enough knowing that the minutes I'm not spending on here are minutes I'm reading a book, blowing kisses, or singing old folk songs with Penelope Belle.


12 September 2012

{something celebrated} 29+2

Last year, I made a list to accomplish during my 29+1 year. We had a party with all of our closest friends and announced we were expecting Penelope.

This year, I'm not making any lists. And we're having a small party just the three of us at home, on a Wednesday evening, after supper.

I'm happy at 29+2. I'm happy I'm a mama. I'm happy to know we might take an evening walk.  I'm happy to know that we'll be sleeping in on Saturday. I'm happy that life is simple.


08 September 2012

{something pretty} blue butterflies at the zoo

Blue Butterfly photo by me:)
If butterflies could sing, I think they would belt out Beatles hits like "Let it Be" or "Blackbird," songs that could lull you to sleep or inspire a revolution depending on the moment. I think this is why I love butterflies. Watching them flutter and tiptoe just brings on that sense of wonder and amazement--this is  beautiful world. And we need to keep this world beautiful. The butterflies are doing their part, and this time they are reminding me to stop and land for a moment, to reflect on some simple thoughts, to breathe in what's important in this life. Thank you blue butterflies for your whispered words of wisdom. I'm trying every day to cherish the best and just let the rest be.


01 September 2012

{something let go} a september to september lifestyle

September is my favorite month. It's my birthday month, the weather cools down for jeans and sweaters, and the leaves begin to change to gold. I will always love September.

September marks my official launch of a new project 365: every day, from now until September 1, 2013, I'm letting go of something. Some days I might let go of a pile of somethings, some days I might let go of just one something. The hope is that with less somethings, I'll feel more serene.

Since my journey as a mama began in May, our house began to fill with a ton of baby things--onesies, books, swings, spoons, blankets--and I've been wanting to revive one of my favorite hobbies: living with less. Because here's the deal: most people feel like they need to move when they have kids because their homes are too small. But I don't think it's true. I think our home is small, but I love our charming bungalow. And I want to know: is it too small? Or is it too full of stuff?

So here's to a new adventure in living with less. How do you live with less?


30 August 2012

{something handwritten} pentel arts sign pen

I started this series months ago: it's simple, it's short, and it's stylistic.

I love quotes. I collect them in all sorts of journals. My favorite projects are the projects that feature quotes, like my quote mugs and felt quote coasters. Today I am featuring a very "mama" quote from Albert Einstein.

This second pen I want to feature is one I've been using for a few years: the Pentel Arts Sign Pen. What I like about this pen is that the ink is beautiful. It flows smoothly without fading. I also like the thick tip. I usually use black, but it also comes in a beautiful golden yellow. I purchase my Pentel Arts Sign pens at ArtMart here in St. Louis.

When writing with the Pentel Arts Sign Pen, I love that I can write fast or slow. The ink moves quickly. It's perfect for writing in cursive and print. And it works wonderfully for doodling and drawing. It's my favorite pen to use when I am designing new ideas for watercolors. 


28 August 2012

{something yummy} guilt free s'mores

My favorite flavor? S'mores. Yes. It's a flavor. I've had s'mores milkshakes, s'mores granola bars, and s'mores cereal. It's got to be a flavor. And for me it's more than summertime, campfires, and the Girl Scouts. I eat s'mores all year long straight from my oven or microwave. Sure, I can char the life out of the pure sugary marshmallow, but, really, if we're being honest here, that never tasted good.

Lately, I've been trying to get back on track after gaining some serious baby love pounds. And my marshmallow, chocolate, and graham cracker treats the traditional way should only be for a special occasion. But my new s'mores discovery can be enjoyed once {maybe even twice} a day without much guilt. If you're a Weight Watchers fan, this version I created is only one point.

The ingredient list is simple: graham crackers, marshmallow fluff, and chocolate almond (or hazelnut) spread.

And the process is even easier: break your graham crackers into four small squares each. Spread about a teaspoon of marshmallow fluff on one side and about a teaspoon of the chocolate spread on the other side. You can even add peanut butter if you're feeling extra wild.

That's it. You can enjoy them right after spreading the yummy chocolate and marshmallow spreads or you can stash a few in the freezer. Either way they are the perfect s'mores fix, no fire necessary.


13 August 2012

{something pretty} stealing parker posey's hair

Johnny got me hooked on Louie C.K.'s show. I really think I like it. It's kind of like a more contemporary Seinfeld that's just as funny.

The other night we watched an episode where Parker Posey--whom I adore and find very funny--played a bookstore clerk Louie asked out on a date. And I was in love with her hair.

So, since my hair needs a lot of help these days--being a mama with long locks has its challenges--I decided to see if I could pull off her style. And it was a very quick success. I see this as one of my go-to hairdos for the year.

It was so simple: 1. I parted my hair down the middle. 2. I twisted my hair on one side right at my neck really tight.  3. I pulled the twist over my head like a crown and secured it with a clip. 4. I pulled/rolled my hair on the side over the twist and bobby pinned it. 5. I repeated the steps on the other side. 6. I removed the clips and bobby pinned my hair down on the top.

This took maybe ten minutes the first time. I just love how an unexpected delight can find you. If Johnny hadn't convinced me to watch Louie, and we hadn't decided to watch more than one episode, I would have never found this beautiful hairstyle.

Where have you found some delightful ideas that were totally unexpected?

xo. katie

P.S. Here's a pic of the inspiration.

Image Source

10 August 2012

{something travel} a national seashore

We drove to the beach a week ago. One of the most delightful surprises about this beach was that it was a National Seashore, kind of like a National Park. I love National Parks. I can't visit one without getting my photo snapped by the entrance sign. This is my third, Johnny's third, and Penelope's first. And we can't wait to visit more.


02 August 2012

{something designed} lissa's wedding program

I think
Lissa saw an inspiration for this program idea on Pinterest. And I recreated it in Pages. I used the fonts Claire Hand Light and Lady Rene for the text. And the flower design image was created using the font MTF Flower Doodles. We printed them with a laser printer on white card stock.

They were a beautiful success.


01 August 2012

{something wedding} some DIY projects

For Lissa's wedding, we created a TON of DIY projects based on inspiration from Pinterest. All of the tiny details really made a great impact. I can't wait to see the professional photos, but here are some that I snapped with my iPhone.
I created this bar menu using Pages on my Mac. The fonts I used are Claire Hand Light and Lady Rene for the text. And the flower design image was created using the font MTF Flower Doodles
Lissa and Molly made this wall of paper chains for the cake table backdrop. They hide the trophy cases at the reception venue:)
Our Mama found these mirrors at a garage sale her next door neighbors were having. Then Lissa spray painted them with a glossy white finish and painted the mirrors with chalkboard paint. I used my calligraphy skills to make signs for the new couple, guest book, cookie table, and gift table.
We needed to cover these glass windows behind the head table to make pictures look better {behind them were statues and office furniture}. We used the idea and tutorial from Heart of Light. I'm so doing this project again...soon.
Lissa set up a really cute photo booth with polaroids for her guest book. She even created scrapbook pages for people to sign right by their photo. It's really a great way to hold onto her guests and sentimental notes.
Place cards for the head table were mason jars. I just wrote names with a white paint pen. They didn't last in a permanent manner, which could be good or bad, depending on what you want.
Hopefully I will have another post about this last detail. Our family's Italian cookie table is a tradition. There were nearly 50 types of cookies that my Nonni, Mama, and great aunts baked for the event. We did it for my wedding, too. This is just a snapshot of the platter I took home with me:) It's a very yummy tradition.


31 July 2012

{something new} letting go project 365

I've got a new project coming up. The official start date isn't set just yet, but I've been getting in the mood start something fresh and organized. This is the start: I call it the my Goodbye-Box. Once it's in the box, I have to let it go. Right now, it's in a small corner of my studio waiting for a yard sale or goodwill.

What are you doing this summer to let go and add some organization to your world?

30 July 2012

{something baby} week by week

One Week: So many early mornings and late nights with Mama in the nursery.
Two Weeks: Penelope loves being swaddled in the morning light.
Three Weeks: Such easy, sweet naps. Or milk comas.
Four Weeks: Wearing vintage family pajamas just after a bath with  her Grammy.
Five Weeks: After some mad crying and a bath, she finally rests.
Six Weeks: Penelope is loving laughter and smiles.
Seven Weeks: This was one of our best mornings yet--no tears, no screams, just smiles, songs, and snuggles.
Eight Weeks: I remember she had to get her two month shots this day. She cried so hard. I just held her, sang to her, and told her everything would be ok.
Nine Weeks: We visited Grammy and Nonno to prepare for her Aunt Lissa's wedding. She's wearing one of her favorite striped onesies and an Etsy headband from Aunt Lissa
Ten Weeks: We ended our stay in Kansas City. This bright morning we were calm, waiting for rain.
Eleven Weeks: A real, true smile. Just dancing and singing some Lady Gaga.
Twelve Weeks: After a very long car ride, Penelope made her first trip to the beach. She loves the sand and the ocean.
I can't believe my Penelope Belle is already 12 weeks old! I've been snapping a photo every week, adding text with Phonto. I've also been working on a special photo each month. And I'll share that project in May!


18 July 2012

{something blueberry and peach} cheesecake from scratch

My friend Mary posted this delightful blueberry peach cheesecake on Facebook. And Johnny really wanted a slice the moment he saw it. So Penelope and I braved the heat yesterday: we picked up ingredients at Trader Joe's, came home, turned on the oven, and baked.

Johnny loved the surprise. He's not sharing it with anyone but me, and it's even more wonderful after it's cooled in the fridge overnight. I think my sister Lissa would love to steal a slice if she lived here:) It's quite sinful.