21 Day Fixer Upper

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Ok so that was seriously a play on two famous titles. But seriously starting tomorrow I have 21 days until my deadline ends! That’s right Saturday will be 70 days total of the 90 days of no sugar and sweeteners, and with that, I must finish strong and I mean, literally. I’m going to kick myself to the max, workout everyday for 21 days, including Sundays because let’s face it, it’s only 21 days?! And I mean full 20-40min of working out. I really do need to stop being lazy and actually work hard to achieve the goals I set out for. I tried finding some apps for my phone to help me with a good solid workout plan but they all pretty much had either sad reviews or they didn’t work for my extremely slow data since we don’t have internet at home (I know we are so old school). But I’m having to make do with what I have and for that I will have a new workout everyday so it doesn’t get boring since I have a plethora of workout DVD’s, I am certain I have enough for 21 days worth.

And my nutrition is pretty much going to be lean chicken or chicken or fish. πŸ˜† I need to stay away from red meats for this 21 day fixer upper. And snack on the Keto fruits and veggies I’m allowed to eat. Basically eating rabbit food and my Keto low carb coconut protein shake. You can find that here. I found this shake for half the price at my favorite place to shop here in Decatur, at Bargain Hunt. They always seem to have great finds (cast offs/returns from Target and Amazon). And of course all the coffee I need to stay awake at work.

I’m gonna write up my meal plan for the next 21 days, today as well as my workout plan. I hope to run at least once possibly twice a week. I’ll be sure to share my before and after photos of my 90 day challenge as well as the 21 day fixer upper. πŸ˜‰

I think that’s about it. Here’s a great quote I try to live by, by Ben Franklin:

Failure to plan, is planning to fail.”

So if you too, have some great goals of your own, make up your plan and go out and conquer them! You can do it! What are some goals you hope to achieve in 2018? Let me know in the comments.

Sincerely,

Katie❀️

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Never say, never!

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Hey everyone! Sorry it’s taken me this long for an update on how the no sugar/no sweetener challenge is going. Life has been crazy. It seems since we joined the little church (last year) we are currently attending, life just got INSANE, but of course in a good way.

We of course, go to church on Sundays, we have two bible studies a week (back to back, Wednesday and Thursday nights) Tuesday’s at Hubby’s Family for supper, my family on Sundays, and once a month, the ladies at church get together on the first Monday’s of the month to eat and fellowship and play Bunco (not bingo.. totally different πŸ˜‰) so we have very little time at home to ourselves. Our grocery bill did get significantly smaller which has been a blessing but I still cook on occasion for me. Since I have no clue ahead a time if I’m gonna be able to eat whatever they are eating. Plus, working everyday at the little cafe, and trying to juggle housework and spending a little time encouraging the other women in our church and outside church friends. It’s hard to juggle it all and still eat healthy and exercise and have time to work on artwork. And organizing my house (which lately has been a project category all to itself).

But I am still eating no sugar or sweeteners, and officially have reached 48 days, today! Monday will be 50 days total! Woohoo! Honestly I have had very little time to weigh and measure myself. Coffee is honestly the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning and how much I feel it would be easier just to hook me up to an iv filled with strong coffee. 😜 I am tired and grumpy all the time, which probably has something to do with not having energy. A little bit of sugar I’m starting to find out is really not that bad for you. Obviously don’t be one of the statistics of 150lbs of sugar a year consumers in America, eat. But eating 5-6Tbsp a week is not a bad deal. And very doable. Preferably the “good” sugar, monk fruit, Swerve, honey, coconut sugar, even organic cane sugar. I stay away from Stevia because it gives me migraines (smelling it is pretty much deadly to me, in that regard) and is also known to cause miscarriages, so I steer clear of anything that even remotely says anything of that nature. True or not? I don’t really wish to find out. Never say, never.

But when I do get back to it in 42 days, I plan to stick with Swerve and possibly Erythritol, its also a yummy substitute.

But for now, watermelon, green tipped bananas and Granny Smith apples and berries hold the “sugar” for me.

When I’m eating those, life seems to be better. So in spite of the grumpy morning blues, and the constant need for coffee, I’m feeling a lot thinner. Whether I’ve lost a little or a lot. I do feel “better” or thinner. And the fact that I fit into my honeymoon jeans, my 8’s! my first goal! Yep! Pretty happy with that!

My second goal is the 6’s in my drawer! Just waiting for me. My third are the art jeans, the 4’s I don’t know that I’ve ever been in a 4, maybe when in junior high school? But they have my artwork all over them, so naturally it would be cool to wear them someday. Never say, never!

Sincerely,

Katie β™₯️

I scream, Ice Cream!

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I haven’t forgotten to post, just been super busy. But crazy enough I’m on week four and have lost a total of 9lbs and 13 inches! πŸ’₯ I’m pretty excited. Now if I can add exercises into my routine again, just think how much I could lose this month? I was hoping to lose up to 10lbs per month. I almost made that last month, but it’s ok, just one pound to go. Maybe I’ll lose 11 pounds this month. We’ll see.

Still no sugar or sweeteners which is awesome! One month under my belt and two more to go. I do feel a lot more energetic and my memory is so much better than it was. It’s amazing what artificial sweeteners do to your body, even just white sugar. Artificial sweeteners seem to trigger my migraines and sugar just makes me feel bloated and miserable all the time. Artificial sweeteners also make me have memory loss and I’m easier to forget things at the drop of a hat. So I’m thankful I’m doing this and after the 90 days I plan to stick to a no sugar diet, from now on. Only eating natural sweeteners like Swerve or Monk Fruit. But my white sugar days are forever over. I don’t plan to eat it again. I can always substitute anything I would like with the natural sweeteners.

I do crave things quite a bit, but I don’t give in. The one thing I crave the most is ice cream. I think about it almost daily. I have a whole board on Pinterest devoted to Keto food and it probably has 100 different recipes for ice cream. Peanut butter cup and coffee ice cream as well as strawberry cheesecake ice cream are probably going to go in my ice cream maker first. I can’t wait till July! It can’t come soon enough.

I found this pouch the other day at a vintage market in Hsv, AL. I couldn’t not get it. As much as I love ice cream. I could probably live off of it. Especially Gelato. So creamy and smooth. ❀️

Okay, enough about sugar.

I did make a very yummy simple meal the other night, I thought I might share with you.

Steak tips with Mushroom sauce.

Pan fry your steak tips at a low temperature, after they are done set aside.

Slice 1 whole small onion, in half then slice longwise and break or divided each slither and sautΓ© in coconut oil or olive oil. SautΓ© until transparent. Chop up 2 cups mushrooms and sautΓ© with onions until soft. Add 1 cup heavy whipping cream and seasonings to taste. Cook until bubbly for about 10min. Or until it gets thick like a gravy. Pour over your steak tips and serve with green beans or favorite side, (we had carrots and peas).

It was so yummy! I hope you enjoy!

Until next week,

Sincerely,

Katie πŸ˜‰

Ketosisssss

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Hey Ketoians and others just following along for the ride. Here is the progress report I promised for my first week of cutting carbs and sugar. It’s been a rough week but well worth the effort. Or at least it will be, so they say. I feel great! πŸ€— (totally being sarcastic) or so they say I will be, right now I’m tired all day, everyday and super grumpy and moody.

I didn’t really have anything new recipe, wise. But most days I had about 2 meals a day, with at least one snack. At work, I get a free meal so I usually take it. Chicken salad is the only thing on the menu that has no sugar in it so I’ve eaten that everyday this week for lunch. I’m sure not everyone could do that, but y’all probably haven’t had our chicken salad. It’s so good. So far it hasn’t gotten old with me. Not much that’s good, does.

My mornings consist of a cup of coffee or two with a few tbsp of heavy whipping cream right before work. (Y’all, this is my only source of energy, otherwise I’m a dragon). πŸ˜‚

Lunch consisted of chicken salad, (like I said before) and carrot sticks and a pickle spear.

Supper/Dinner (I know that’s a whole debate within itself πŸ˜‚) :

Monday: Broccoli Cheddar Soup, (sorry a friend made the recipe, I’m just hoping it was Keto friendly, though I doubt it, it was yummy though) and fruit.

Tuesday: Chicken Stew, my in laws who are also doing Keto made this recipe. Super yummy. Basically a chicken vegetable soup. It’s really healthy and helps keep you full when you add cheese and sour cream to it.

Wednesday: I wasn’t feeling well, had a massive migraine do to the Keto flu. So I just snacked.

Thursday: Ham, asparagus and a big salad, with Tesemae’s creamy ranch dressing. Yum!

Friday: Had a bad headache again so I snacked on pepperonis and cheese sticks. When I have a headache or migraine, food is just not on my radar. It makes me feel nauseous so pretty much snacking is all I can handle and lots of water and seltzer water and a long nap.

Saturday. Well naturally it hasn’t happened yet. But I’ll give a report about that next week.

Keto flu is the worst. I don’t remember ever having it this bad but it’s been terribly draining. Thankfully, I haven’t given in.

Exercise has been great this week, I exercised everyday except Wednesday because of my migraine. I even got to go running on Tuesday because we had such beautiful weather. Before the big storm on Wednesday.

In case you’re not familiar, migraines and exercise don’t work. A migraine for me consists of first, blindness. My vision is almost completely gone. It’s the weirdest sensation. There’s no pain at first, just black outs while being coherent, or my peripheral vision is completely gone. Sometimes my vision, head on is gone and my peripheral vision is there. It just depends on the day. Then the vision thing goes away and I get my vision back, that’s when the nausea and pain come. And when that comes, that’s when I have to find a dark place and lay completely flat on my back and just suffer through the pain that feels like my brain is on fire. Light, hurts my eyes, in fact, I dislike it very much when people shine a flashlight into my eyes, even if I don’t have a migraine that can actually start one for some people that get them. (Just a side note to people who do this “for fun”, don’t do it. It’s not fun when you’re the person having to deal with that kind of pain), but light of all kinds makes my eyes feel like their burning. So if you know someone that gets migraines on a regular basis. Try to understand if they have to leave early at a party, or cancel an outing last minute. They are simply inconvenient for everyone present, but mostly to the person having one. It’s not your typical headache. It’s different. Headaches are actually tolerable.

Sorry bunny trail. But that’s been on my mind a lot, sometimes you just got to let it out.

Also, along with being off sugar and cutting my carbs, I haven’t had one diet drink in 7 days! A whole week! That’s huge for me. I didn’t drink a whole lot of them before, just the occasional one here and there. I used to drink them like they were water, years ago. But I think the aspartame finally caught up with me, and migraines are the norm. But they come less and less then they used to. Which I’m thankful for.

This week I lost 4.8 lbs!! Woohoo! I’m pretty excited! We’ll just have to see how many inches if any on Monday.

Well that about wraps it up. Next week’s challenge is to start meal prepping some of my suppers. And I’m gonna continue to lay off sweeteners. I have been dragging but that’s ok. Any diet you try, the beginning your body is changing and trying to adjust the shock it’s feeling especially when you completely go cold turkey, so I’m assuming that’s what my body is going through right now. It will pass soon, but Just have to get past the hard part first. Almost there. So far, I haven’t really wanted anything sugary except an occasional coke. (I love cold cokes, I grew up loving them so naturally I crave them the most). But maybe someday someone will make a great “substitute” for a healthy coca-cola, but I doubt it. Not much can replace that yumminess. 😜

Until next time.

Sincerely,

Katie

Patching Things Up

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So I made a vision board (my last blog post) of all the things I want to accomplish before the new year. It’s kind of like making a New Years resolution list, but since I’m a short term goal list maker, I do better with short term goals. Several of my goals have lasted for years some even my whole life, (i.e. Being a good wife, and a mama to earthly children), but short term goals, (painting landscapes and architecture for a change) or (photographing birds for the blog post I promised a few people a year or so ago…) are easier to accomplish for me, since having kids isn’t really something I can accomplish right now. Maybe someday, though. πŸ€—

It’s good for me to have short term goals because it makes me less idle. Like it’s something I really, really have to get done. Not that it would be the end of the world if I didn’t, but it would be disappointing. And I don’t wish to disappoint my readers. Though at this moment of blogging I doubt I have very many readers. Since I’ve pretty much put it on the back burner for nearly a year now.

Oh well. No matter. Moving on.

So here is my collection of patches, I thought you all might enjoy seeing. I may or may not be missing one or two. When I buy them I’ve gotten into a bad habit of just laying them anywhere instead of putting them in the box I keep all the ones that aren’t sewn on. Yes, I sew and iron them on. Because I’m paranoid that they are going to fall off. And I hate it when they curl at the edges when they have been on for a long time.

Here are some of the current ones that need sewing on and some that already are:

< img src=”https://anartistinthehomestead84.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/img_2307.jpg&#8221; height=”4032″ class=”wp-image-629″ width=”3024″>Jackson Hole is still one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever lived, and visited.

The Grand Canyon Boot is still one of my favorite patches.

And the North American Hunting Club sent me a free huge patch nearly the size of my hand. 😜

I think I have a total of 46 patches, possibly 47-48? Not sure? I know I’m missing at least one. Just can’t find it. But I’m determined to find the missing patch. May have to take my house apart in the process but I will find it. πŸ˜‚πŸ€—

And that’s more elaborations on my patches goal/collection.

I’ll post my painting lists next. I hope you all have great week! My boss is on vacation until Wednesday and I’m gonna be working the front (cash register) Monday and Tuesday, so it should be interesting. Hopefully I won’t goof up too badly.

Sincerely,

Katie

The Homestead Artist

This Crazy Wonderful Life!

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Hey y’all!

It’s been a little while since my last post. I just got done organizing my art room. A project sorely neglected for a long time. But I said, before I start painting a ton of new paintings again, I’m going to first organize my art room so it’s decent for painting in. I think I’ll be putting up my jewelry stuff for awhile and focus on just a few things I want to get done, those things on my vision board.

First thing is first:

1.) Spend more time with Hubby. And those I love.

I love a LOT of people, mostly the ones I spend a lot of time talking to, over the phone, texting and in the everyday. And now that I have a job, time with my tribe is limited. Saturdays are pretty much my tribe time and Sundays are my church tribe and my family time. But I’m thankful more and more for each moment. Thanks to this job, I really am starting to appreciate every moment I spend with everyone I possibly can. And having a new church family, is such a blessing. Each person in our church we’ve grown so close in such a short time. Love it. ❀️

2.) This one may seem silly to some of you, but I have had this project going on now for about 15 years maybe more. I have an obsession of patches, you know the patches you buy for ironing on shirts and jackets and such? Well I have collected them for about 15ish years now and have cumulated quite a few in my travels. Just about every park I have visited I bought a patch. Every national park I’ve visited, unique restaurant that sell them, etc. I’ve always been fascinated with the old 1800’s-1900’s fashion of putting stickers on your luggage/trunks of places you’ve been, and wonder why they don’t do that anymore? So I decided I would buy a patch every place I went that was unique and if they sold them. I’ve had friends buy some for me, and have given me some. Which I find funny. They must think I’m crazy. But I appreciate it. 😎 The patches will be added to a bag I made in middle school, that I have saved for years and years. πŸ˜‹ I would like to get all the ones I currently have onto the bag, asap. So I can continue my collecting without feeling too overwhelmed with how many I need to sew on.

3.) I would like to do more photography. Some of just my own inventions and pleasure. Not necessarily paid ones. More practice. Which I just started lessons with my new Pastor who is an excellent photographer so I think I’m in good hands. I’ve had two lessons so far and have really come to appreciate it even more.

4.) I would also like to try to paint at least 10 more paintings before the new year. I have one landscape I hope to start on in the morning now that my art room is fairly organized. I just need to make a list of all the ones I want to try and do. I’ll elaborate more on those later.

5.) I have a plethora of photos I would like to turn into another scrapbook before the new year. In a perfect world I will crank out 3 in a year. But we’ll see if next year will hold more true to that.

6.) I just started bullet Journaling and absolutely love it! Well I did until I got a job, and that went out of the window for now. So I have to figure out how to keep that in line and keep at it. We’ll see how it goes.

7.) I really want to squeeze my workouts back into my schedule even if it’s just for a short 10min. Or what have you. I can tell I get tired easily and feeling a little flabby. So I need to get back into it. I would like to get back into running but it may just be a once a week thing again, which would be fine with me.

8.) I know, I’m a nut, but I’be been keeping my eyes open for a Star Wars phone case. I had an R2-D2 phone case with my old iPhone 4s, I have an iPhone SE and have been on the lookout for something Star Wars. Because I’m a nerd like that. πŸ€“πŸ˜œ

9.) I have about two or three paintings I really need to finish, but haven’t. So they maybe part of the ten I do, they maybe extra. We’ll see.

10.) Like always I plan to blog more. Probably FB less because frankly, too much drama lately. No offense but there really is. And I miss writing. So I’m gonna try and do more blogging and less FB.

11.) So, thanks to family members, I finally found an OB-GYN that is not only a Christian but also one who really CARES! Yes!! He really, really does! When we went last month for my consultation he continued to say how sorry he was for our losses! And how he acknowledges God created our bodies to do amazing things just confirmed that I knew I was in good hands. That he acknowledged that our babies were babies and REAL LOSSES, not just an “oh well,” thing that happened like our last doctor put it. I had been praying so very much that we would find a doctor who really, genuinely cared, and I believe he does!

Anyway he told me, my issue was indeed an incompetent cervix and noticed my cervix opening was a lot smaller than most. He also said, there is a very promising procedure I can have done, a TAC (Trans Abdominal Cerclage). There are only two doctors in the US that perform this surgery and the one I will be going to, is in Chicago and has an individual success rate of 99%, as oppose to all the others (95%!). So we are extremely hopeful! We went from having a 50/50 chance of being able to have a full term baby to a 99% chance! Isn’t God good? How amazing is that? His plans are ALWAYS perfect. We are very hopeful and know He knows best, whatever the outcome.

And lastly,

12.) I would love it, if I had the surgery next month (November) and Lord willing get pregnant in December. I think that would be so cool! Either get pregnant around Christmas or New Years! Either way, it would be a great gift!

Anyway, I’ll write soon about our upcoming trip as I find out more details! Hopefully I’ll know more next week sometime.

Sincerely,

Katie

The Homestead Artist

How I Survived Totality!

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Wow! Can I just say, wow?! The study of our galaxy the sky, the clouds, and stars and planets have always kinda fascinated me growing up. I am so thankful to have witnessed something so beautiful and incredible. God is truly an amazing creator. It blows me away after witnessing something like that, it really humbles my thoughts that how could the God who created that, love me? Oh wretched person that I am! He is so big, these plants and our world, our galaxy fits in the palms of His hands! If that doesn’t wow you, honestly I don’t know what will?!

(In this picture I drew each segment that I saw. I hope to later go back and paint it).

My art instructor in college called me a “romantic realist”, I loved that because it’s so true. I tend to romanticize things but also believe the obvious and the true and real in life. I could never understand even at a young age, how anyone could not believe a Supreme Being, the Almighty Father God, created these masterpieces that we see every single day, if we simply look around us. Yes, there is ugliness in this world because of our sin but there is still a lot of beauty making declarations to our God; glorious praises to our King!

(We went hiking after the Eclipse at Rock Island State Park there in TN these are some snippets of the hike down).

(Who says you can’t hike in flip-flops?) 😎

The world did not end and yes there were nay Sayers that our eyes would be permanently damaged and irreversible. I was careful in my glances. I wasn’t stupid. I glanced for a few seconds and waited 10-30 seconds before looking at it again. I wore NASA approved glasses and didn’t just stare at it and watch it move. Though I saw it go from a fingernail to a tiny slit in 30sec or less, to Totality! And watched the sky around us go from light to dark, the weather went from a blazing hot to a nice cool breeze. It didn’t get down to 25 degrees but it was pretty cool. Like perfect Ala/TN weather. Almost a bit like fall. (Which by the way, I cannot wait for!) πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸπŸ‚

All I can say is that it was a breathtaking 2 minutes of my life! Much like my first kiss (though my first kiss was indescribable and totally amazing and was ten times better) 😘😍 Just wish I could have witnessed it with my husband. I definitely plan to go back to Rock Island with him and hike in REAL shoes. (And this is why you don’t wear flip flops while hiking. Oops). πŸ˜œπŸ˜‚

Did you leave your state to see the Eclipse in another? What was it like? I would love to hear what you thought about it in the comments!

Sincerely,

Katie

Me and my sis in our cool NASA approved glasses. 😎😎