Saturday, February 28, 2009

This Week's Etsy Features!

As predicted, I had a bit less exposure on Etsy this week, ha ha, but a week like last week is rare! I feel very blessed to have been featured in a gorgeous treasury this week.

........(one inch)........ by 5erg

The story about the title of this one was cute - she said she is always bad at coming up with titles so just wrote the last thing she heard before the treasury opened :) I always have trouble with titles myself, I totally understand!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Etsy Find - Pirate Bed by Barzilla Woods

I stumbled upon this amazing Pirate bed when creating my Pirate treasury a few weeks ago and just knew I would have to showcase it here at some point. I find it so amazing when people have a talent in working with wood, and Barzilla Woods certainly does!

Not only would any pirate-loving or sea-faring kid adore this awesome bed, but it's so practical with all the built in storage.

What a find!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Soap Makeover - Rosemary and Oatmeal!

I recently created a new batch of Rosemary and Oatmeal. This was one of my original soaps which I created well before the idea of selling my soaps came about. It was also one of the original 6 batches that I listed on Etsy (see original photo below!), and it was lucky enough to make it prominently on my business card!


I have since modified my techniques a little bit. Prior to selling my soaps I wasn't very concerned about the appearance of my soap - it was all function. Myself and Collier were the main users of my soap, as well as friends and family who received it frequently as gifts. One of the best things selling my soaps has done for me is to really encourage me to work on improving my techniques and focusing on new and interesting ways to create. I am aiming eventually to have a line where you can look at a soap and know what it is without smelling it - which can be really tricky considering I don't use micas (artificial colorants) in my soaps so can't just make them hot pink, neon yellow, etc. I spent some time drawing out my ideas this past weekend and this is what I came up with for the new and improved version of Rosemary and Oatmeal:


Instead of incorporating the dried rosemary and baby oatmeal throughout the bar, I put oatmeal in the bottom (white) layer, topped it with dried rosemary, and then topped that with a layer of soap infused with rosemary powder. It smells heavenly, just like the old bar. But I think it's a bit more pleasing to the eye than its predecessor.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Battle of the Bulge - week 3

My current weight: 177.6
My current BMI: 25.5 (overweight)
Pounds lost so far: 7.4
Days of Cardio this week: 1
Days of Yoga this week: 0
Days of Strength training this week: 0

I actually changed my goal this week to maintaining my weight but was surprised to see that I actually did lose 1.4 lbs. I have been sick and flew to Utah and back and realized that this week my body really needs the energy and it was not a time to diet. I'm on the mend now, finally getting some energy back, though Coll said I still sound horrible :)

Weight Loss Tip of the Week:
This one is easy, but something much overlooked by motivated dieters. A time of illness is NOT a time to deprive your body of calories. The goal of weight loss for many people entails a transition to a healthier lifestyle but when ones body is being attacked by a virus or bacteria (or fungus or prion for that matter!), it is time to give up the dieting temporarily until it gets its butt kicked by the immune system. Now, that doesn't mean take the opposite route and eat nothing but ice cream and oreos until you feel better, but aim for feeding your body healthy calories, full of vitamins and minerals. This may seem commonsensical and straightforward but I have had to sit down and discuss this with patients in the hospital who just had a major surgery. If you are going to heal quickly you need to give your body an easily accessible form of energy (and burning fat is not easily accessible). So, until you feel better focus on maintaining the weight you are at (and not gaining any weight back).

Goals for Next Week:
Despite the fact that I'm starting to feel better, I'm still going to go a bit easy on myself this week. I would like to aim for 2-3 days of cardio and a weight loss of 2.6 lbs (which would take me down to 175 lbs). Stay tuned!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Have you seen this? From National Treasure 2

Coll and I were watching National Treasure 2 on my computer this weekend and I had to use the bathroom so paused it...right at this moment. I laughed and said, "He's looking at the camera!" Lesson 1 in acting school = don't look at the camera, no? Ha ha...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

This week's Etsy Features!

This was a grand week for Kelle's Kitchen on Etsy! I doubt I'll have another like this for a long time.

Cosa Que Dudo Treasury
This gorgeous treasury was created by Etsy user DoYouFeelTheScent

Category Search Etsy Front Page (2/16/09)
This awesome front page was created by Etsy Admin by searching through the categories!

Oatmeal Etsy Front Page (2/17/09)
I was lucky enough to have my 7 bar pack chosen for this front page feature by Etsy Admin!

Pampering...just add hot water Gift Guide
2/17/09 was a great day for my shop! My seven bar pack was also selected to be a part of the Pampering...just add hot water Gift Guide on Etsy! I am amongst some awesome items from fellow B&B creators, some of which are also a part of the Etsy Green and Clean Guild!

I was also lucky enough for a few hours to be the second item listed in the gift guide so would sporadically appear on the front page, it was great! Look in the top left corner :)

Artificial Light
This beauty was made by NYCrochet who is a fellow member of EtsyVeg! It was a team treasury and an absolute beauty!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Battle of the Bulge - week 2

My current weight: 179
My current BMI: 25.7 (overweight)
Pounds lost so far: 6
Days of Cardio this week: 3
Days of Yoga this week: 1
Days of Strength training this week: 0

Well, I did ok this week. I stuck with my lower calorie healthy diet aside from our Valentines day meal, I was proud of myself for that! I did manage to sneak yoga in one evening but that is something I need to work more on. Strength training was a bust this week. I'm trying to find a healthy routine for myself where I can incorporate enough of these things in to keep a healthy lifestyle but also have enough time in the day to do all the other things I need to without feeling overwhelmed. That will take time, I'm slowly but surely getting there! I have many weeks to go (my goal is to be at my goal weight with healthy lifestyle patterns in place by May 15!), and I realize that this doesn't all have to happen instantaneously!

Weight Loss Tip of the Week:
I have had many a conversation with patients about weight loss (I spent a month in Med School working with a bariatric surgeon which I LOVED!), and one of the biggest misconceptions, I think, is what people need to do to "exercise". Jot down the first few things that come to your mind when you think of the word "exercise". For most people they imagine a slim, fit person at the gym with a towel and a water bottle spending hours on a treadmill - or possibly someone running 15 miles before work in the morning, etc. I have heard, "I just don't have time for that" more times than I can count. My next step with people is to have them think of ways they can incorporate more physical movement into their daily lives and this doesn't have to mean setting aside a 1/2 hour or hour a day to go for a walk. Simple things like parking further from the store entrance, taking the stairs rather than the elevator, going down every aisle at the grocery store (even the diaper aisle if you don't have a baby!), etc. So much of the time people get drawn into this lazy cycle where we just take the easy route because exercise is time-consuming and we don't have the time! Staying active is what's important, every little bit helps!

This week will be a bit challenging. I've caught the cold that's going around the office, so with being sick I will need to be a bit more sedentary...asthma + cold virus in the lungs can be challenging. I also will be traveling mid-week and won't be able to prepare my own meals so will have to make smart choices. We shall see how things turn out!

Monday, February 16, 2009

My Day of LOVE!

I thought I'd share the gifts my honey and I shared with eachother this Valentine's Day. I should preface this by saying that he and I are rather anti-commercial holidays, and he made this statement last week, "I love you EVERY day!" :) Romance is nice every now and then but spending hundreds of dollars on a fancy evening is not romantic for me. We had dinner with friends on Vday evening, it was very nice and relaxing!

Collier's Surprise:
I told him not to get me anything but was surprised to hear the doorbell ring and Coll say "The UPS guy is here" on Saturday. First of all, they don't usually deliver on Saturday, second of all, I actually do receive quite a few packages with soap supplies, etsy purchases, and other things but really couldn't think of anything I was expecting at that time! Well, he came in with an FTD box and was busted! He bought me these gorgeous roses! He said he didn't know what color I like so got a mix. Then he asked and I said...hmm...white maybe? I'm not a big roses person, I like lilies, irises, orchids, all of the gorgeous exotic flowers :) But I have grown roses before and we had a rose bush with gorgeous white roses that were more fragrant than I could have ever imagined. So, I liked those roses but growing them yourself always makes them more special. And I love the roses Coll bought me because they are beautiful, fragrant, and most importantly from him!

My gift to Collier:
I came across this awesome "Peace Crane card" on Etsy and knew I had to get it for Coll. It is from the shop of Unique Art Pendants, she ships a handmade origami crane along with a print on paper to the recipient of your choice. Shipping was super fast and the gift was more unique and meaningful than a card would have been! Coll has it on display right now but said that he wanted to save the box as he plans to save the gift for the long haul - he's not a saver so that's a big deal!

All in all it was a great day. Just the right amount of romance without being too sickeningly sweet :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

This week's Etsy Features!

Check out the awesome ways my soaps were featured on Etsy this week! I am so humbled and flattered whenever anyone chooses my items to be a part of their collection, it is such an honor!

...Inspired by Scones
The first treasury I was featured in this week was created by Jenna Designs. She has an awesome shop full of travel tissue cozies, onesies/baby items, photography, and so much more! She also happens to live just north of Milwaukee and we are currently conspiring to send messages back and forth in bottles. It would certainly help with shipping costs!

The story behind this beauty is that Jenna made scones on Sunday morning, realized the treasury would be opening soon, and decided to make something. She saw the scones and thought hmm, ok. She chose my sampler pack to fit within the color scheme she was going for - how lucky for me?! She has been trying for 2 months to make a treasury that makes it onto the front page and this one did! Congrats Jenna :)


This gorgeous treasury was curated by Monarchdancer who sells fabulous knit items! She was inspired by the painting featured in the middle of the second row called Heartstrings and decided to create a treasury based around it. It was my lucky day as she chose my Strawberry Fields (Forever) to be featured amongst the other gorgeous items.

Friday, February 13, 2009

What's for dinner? Zucchini Omelette with Rosemary!

This is an AWESOME and quick meal that won't hurt your waistline! I like to serve this omelette over two pieces of toast. Along with a small side salad and a piece of fruit, I've got a well balanced delicious meal!

What you need:
1/2 cup liquid egg whites
1 small Zucchini
1 tsp fresh rosemary
1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
cooking spray

1) Skin and thinly slice zucchini. Chop rosemary. Set aside.

2) Spray pan with cooking spray and place over low heat. Let heat for about a minute, then pour in egg whites. Immediately lay cut zucchini flat on half of the pan. Sprinkle entire omelette with rosemary. Cover pan. (Omelette secret - to avoid having to flip an omelette over to cook the top, simply cover the pan with the top from a saucepan while cooking over low heat. The top will cook with the bottom)

3) Once top is cooked and the bottom is starting to slightly brown, cover with parmesan cheese.

4) Fold the half without the zucchini over the other half. You can serve the omelette that way, or cut it in half and serve over toast!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Soap Giveaway Winner!!

Tiff from Canada has won a bar of my Orange Mocha Love soap! Congratulations!

There ended up being 81 people who submitted entries in time, so I had generate a list of numerals between 1 and 81 and the first number was the one I used. It happened to be 65 in that case so the person who posted 65th won - and that was Tiff!

For those who didn't win this time, thank you for taking the time to look at my shop and enter, and please check back next month for another giveaway!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Another pet introduction is definitely in order, I thought this time I would introduce my almost 8 year old cat Zazu!

I met Zazu on 4/30/01, 3 days after his birth on 4/27/01. I was interviewing for a job I ended up taking at a Vet Clinic in Verona, WI. His mama (we called her "Mama Kitty") was taken in for a rescue organization as a pregnant kitty by the clinic. This is done frequently by Vet. Clinics, they will help local rescue by taking in pregnant mamas and then adopt out the kittens. It's ethically a great decision and also good for business - most frequently the adopters are current clients or end up bringing their pets to the clinic.

I didn't start working at the clinic until about a month later so by that time Zazu and his 4 male littermates were all strapping young lads! They frequently had eye infections so I had to put antibiotic ointment in their eyes on a daily basis. I will never forget the moment that I realized I had a bond with Zazu that was a bit more special than that I had with the other kittens. I had them all in a cozy cup on a cat tree while medicating them when Zazu peered over the side of the cup, looked right at me and purred loud enough for me to hear from a few feet away. From that moment on it was love. He used to ride around work on my shoulder all day like a little parrot. But I had just finished my freshman year of college and had one more year in the dorms so knew I couldn't adopt him. I just hoped he was adopted into a great home.

Weeks passed and he wasn't adopted. It got to the point where his litter was almost 12 weeks, I was head over heels for him and trying to find a family member to adopt him (no one wanted a kitten!), and I began to realize that if I didn't adopt him I would never see him again and I didn't know if I could part with him. At that time I was living with my sister (a Veterinarian) for the summer and I worked up the guts to ask her if she would ever consider allowing him to live in her home while I finished up my last year in the dorms with the promise that I would find an apartment to sublet as soon as the spring semester was over.

She actually said yes (can you say awesome sister?!). I will never forget the first time they met. I was with Zazu in my basement room at their house and she came down to see him during our weekend trial period, and said, "You didn't tell me he is an ORANGE KITTY!!" I didn't know it would matter! He then proceeded to climb up to her shoulder (which was quite the feat as she was standing!) and purr in her ear - she ws instantly hooked! Zazu lived with my sister and her husband, her 2 cats and 3 dogs, for 9 months. He was a holy terror at times but my sister really grew to love and adore him.

Since then he's been with me! He's been through 5 apartments since he and I started moving about, and everywhere he goes he adjusts immediately. He's one of the most easygoing cats I've ever met, he gets along well with animals of any species and plays the role of the "glue" in our multi-species household. Everyone loves him, it's hard not to. He and I will always have an extra special bond - he's my best friend for sure.

Zazu Loves:
1) FOOD. We've gone through 4 automatic feeders for him, he was able to figure out how to break into the first 3 models (did I mention that he's extremely smart?), until I stumbled upon my current feeder. The new feeder chimes prior to the meal being dispensed and he charges through the apartment when he hears that bell! (Note: Photo is of him breaking into one of our former feeders)

2) Dairy! Like a true Wisconsin cat...Milk is his favorite but Cheese is great, too!

3) Catnip. He likes it a LOT.

4) Sitting in the most inopportune places at the most inopportune times to demand affection. A Zazu specialty.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Battle of the Bulge - week 1

My current weight: 182
My current BMI: 26.1 (overweight)
Days of Cardio this week: 4
Days of Yoga this week: 0
Days of Strength training this week: 0

Well, I met my goal this week and lost 3 lbs! Yay! Reverting back to my healthier diet was a bit difficult at first but ultimately I feel that I have more energy and am more optimistic about things in general which is great. Of course there is room to improve - I need to work on including more cardio in my life somehow, and also need to start including yoga/stretching and strength training somewhere. But I forgive myself for not meeting my lofty goals during the first week, and I also forgive myself for the 3 meals I ate this week that were higher in calorie than I should have eaten. Life happens and thus any lifestyle that is realistic to maintain in the long run must be flexible enough to allow me to live!

Weight Loss Tip of the Week:
Eating small amounts of many types of lower calorie foods (diverse meals) can help you feel more full. Try it for yourself. Pour a bowl of your favorite cereal (a big bowl) - enough cereal and milk to account for approximately 400 calories. The following day, try the following meal which is approximately 400 calories as well: 1 cup cereal, 3/4 cup milk, 2 tbsp walnuts, 1/2 cup cottage cheese, small fruit (banana, orange, apple, etc.) Which meal makes you feel more full? The second meal also offers a larger variety of vitamins and minerals than the first. Now that's healthy eating :)

Well, that's it for this week! I am looking forward to another great week of a healthier lifestyle. I plan to make a great vegetarian meal for Coll and I for Valentine's day. I'd rather avoid the restaurants on that day and a cozy night at home is just what we need :)

**Goal weight for next week: 179. I would also like to aim for at least 2 days of yoga and 1 day of strength training this week.**

Monday, February 9, 2009

Etsy Find: Rooin' in the Rain Coat for Dogs by AcmeCouture

I found this awesome doggy rain-coat on Etsy a few months back and simply had to share! Kermit LOVES wearing coats (I know, he's bizarre) and there have been several times that I have wished we had something for him to wear that would make walks in the rain a bit more practical. I stumbled upon this seller's page, AcmeCouture, a few months ago while making my first treasury. I was looking for a really posh dog coat and found a listing she had for a gorgeous plaid coat which I included in that treasury (which ended up on the front page!). I also saw these rain coats and thought now that's a great idea. Not only will it keep your dog's body dry when you go for a rain-walk, but it has a hood to protect their ears! I intend to buy one for Kermit someday, maybe closer to spring :)

In the photo are Jasper and Lily, the sellers two gorgeous greyhounds who have been retired from racing! A portion of her proceeds go toward dog rescue and greyhound rescue organizations which I think is great! The best part of it all is that all of her coats are handmade to fit your dog's body with your dog's measurements! Which is perfect if you have a dog who's body doesn't quite fit the doggy mold. And in my opinion her prices are extremely reasonable for such a quality item. Check here out here: Acme Couture's Etsy Shop.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Recent Etsy Features

I have been fortunate enough to have been chosen for two gorgeous treasuries curated by fellow EtsyVeg teamers this week! Check out the screenshots below, and check out their lovely shops as well! All items from EtsyVeg team members are cruelty-free and vegetarian :) Yay!

Winter Garden: A touch of Green to brighten the Grey by NYCrochet

Time for Yellow:A Few of my Sunny Favorites by pandawithcookie

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A trip to the "Puppy Park"

Well, spring sprung in Milwaukee today. Of course my pessimistic boyfriend kept reminding me that it's just temporary, it will get cold and snow again. But I prefer to remain optimistic! It only gets warmer from here :)

To celebrate our 50 degreeish day, we decided to take Kermy to the puppy park. There is a park near the airport that we usually take him to for some legal off-leash time. It's set back from the road, is fairly large (enough to take about a half hour to make a loop through), and completely fenced. To sum today's trip up in one word, I would say this: MUDDY!

On the way in to the park, a man looked at our white bodied dog and said, "Whoa, have fun washing him!" We planned to bathe him today anyway so went in with an open mind. Kerm had a ton of fun, but our white dog was brown on his underside when we left!

He is clean and smelling fresh again now, thank goodness! It was a beautiful day, though, I'm glad I was able to share it with those I love :)

Friday, February 6, 2009

What's for dinner? Homemade Pizza!

Let me preface this post by saying that this meal is NOT diet friendly! Unless you are a person who is satisfied by eating one piece of pizza. But, this is a quick and easy meal to make for a family and is way more fun than driving to the local pizza place to pick one up :)

Here's what you will need:
1 loaf of frozen bread dough
Spaghetti sauce (or pizza sauce but spaghetti sauce is great and cheaper!)
Shredded Cheese (2-4 cups)- I like Mozzarella and Cheddar
Toppings of choice
2 tbsp butter, margarine, or cooking spray
Canola or Olive oil

1) The first thing you will need to do is thaw the bread dough and let it rise. To do this, just coat the dough lightly in oil (I like canola) and place it in a pan, covered with plastic wrap (ensure that the piece is large enough so the dough may expand without being exposed to air - if your dough is exposed to air while rising you will get large air bubbles in the dough!)

2) Prepare a round pizza pan by coating with melted butter (for a buttery crust) or spray with cooking spray.

3)The dough will rise in about 4-5 hours to be double the size it began. At this point you can begin to try to stretch the dough to cover the bottom of the pizza pan. This will take time, be patient! You will need to stretch the dough and give it time to relax between - just walk away for a minute and come back to it, stretch it, then walk away again!

4) Once stretched, cover the dough with sauce, then cheese, then any other toppings you wish. I have, in the past, coated the crust with dried herbs which is quite nice. Broccoli is one of my favorite pizza toppings, I would highly recommend it. If you do choose to make a broccoli pizza, put the broccoli under the cheese as if it is on top it will burn. This is a really fun activity for kids - they can dress up their part of the pizza as they want!

5) Once pizza is topped as you wish, place it in a 375 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes. Check back on it frequently once it nears the 20 minute point - you want it to be golden brown with a slight browning of the cheese.

6) Let the pizza set for about 5 minutes before cutting. Then cut and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Giveaway: Win a bar of soap of your choice from Kelle's Kitchen!!

It's my first giveaway! The rules are simple:

1) Go to my Etsy shop and choose the bar of soap you would like to win (if chosen).
2) Come back here and leave a comment on this post regarding which bar of soap you would like to win. Don't forget to leave your email address so I can get in touch with you if you win!

Contest ends on 2/11/09 at 5 pm CST. I will choose a winner with a random number generator and contact the winner that evening - you win the bar that YOU chose if selected! Yay!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Battle of the Bulge Commences

I am going to lose weight and I'm dragging you all along with me! I am a bit embarrassed to be doing this "publicly," normally I'm a bit shy about my personal struggles and only share them with people very close to me, but I want this weight loss to stick this time so I feel that the more people who know what's up the more accountable I will be!

Here's the deal, in a nutshell. In high school I weighed about 155 lbs, and of course since it was high school I could eat whatever I wanted and never gained a pound. I became a vegetarian when I was 15 as well and didn't take the time to figure out cooking so ate a lot of side dishes. When I went to college I was stuck with dorm food for 2 years and all of the vegetarian dishes (aside from the salad bar) were chock full of cheese (I went to the University of Wisconsin, so of course it was!). I gained about 30-40 pounds in those years.

Prior to starting Medical School I decided enough was enough and got my act together. I limited my caloric intake and started exercising more frequently and got my weight down to 150 lbs! I was doing yoga, pilates, cardio, I joined a gym, I was eating more healthy than I ever had before and I felt GREAT! It was one of the first times that I actually felt pretty comfortable in my own skin.

It was easy during the first two years of Med school, all I had to do was attend class and study all the time, I could work most everything around when I wanted to go to the gym and get groceries and cook! But once 3rd year started and I was in the hospital all the time and traveling to be with Coll every other weekend I found it hard to keep up with my healthy lifestyle. Slowly things started to slip. I did ok for a long while, even if I was eating unhealthy choices I would eat smaller amounts. But slowly my weight started creeping up again. By the beginning of 4th year I was probably in the low 170's, before the interview season started I was in the mid to upper 170's and with the combo of the holidays and traveling/being wined and dined for interviews I've finally hit the mid 180's. I have decided it needs to stop. This is me now (Collier took this tonight):

Obviously I am wearing a fairly unflattering form-fitting outfit but that is something I used to wear to the gym and I remember it not being very snug at all. I tried to get into a pair of pants that I bought only a month ago and couldn't even zip them. It's out of control! I'm not comfortable with my body as it is, I want to feel and look healthy. I want to live my life in a way that people will respect, and the fact that I am going to have an M.D. after my name in a few short months only makes a change in lifestyle all the more important. People look to docs to be an example of a healthy lifestyle and right now mine just is not that. Mainly, I need to do this for me. I am happier in my life than I've been in a long time, I like where things are going. I may as well be happy about myself as well!

So, here's what I plan to do. Since it worked last time I will do the very same thing! Prepare healthy low fat low calorie delicious meals (really, I've got some great recipes that I will share!) to keep my total calorie intake between 1200-1400 kcal per day. My goal is to start squeezing yoga back in at least a few times a week and to try to walk Kermit daily (good for both of us!). I will weigh in once a week on Monday and aim to post my results on Tuesday of every week.

My goal: To lose 35 lbs by my Med School Graduation. This would put me in a healthy BMI range and back at the 150 I felt comfortable at (BMI 21.5), and back in a size 8 (I'm at a size 12 or 14 now). This is also a healthy rate of weight loss for my body at 2-3 lbs per week, which is my secondary goal.

My current weight: 185
My current BMI: 26.5 (overweight)
Days of Cardio this week: 3
Days of Yoga this week: 0
Days of Strength training this week: 0

I invite you along with me on this journey, I hope to share with you my struggles and my victories!

Goal weight for next week: 182

Monday, February 2, 2009

How was YOUR Superbowl Party?

This is how mine went:

And now, that wasn't post-festivities. Collier fell asleep during the 1st quarter and slept til after the local news. I finally woke him up at 11 to go to our actual bed to sleep. I managed to see the end of the game (which was super exciting!), and parts of The Office between running around to package orders. All in all a good night :)