Always, Katie: September 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fertility Friday: Ka-Ching

It is no secret that infertility is expensive.  And don't get me started on how brutally unfair that is.  Or how unfair it is that most employers don't provide insurance coverage for infertility treatments.  

Ethan's insurance covers $1000 of infertility treatment or testing (after diagnosis) per LIFETIME.  We used that up in one blood test, so now we have no.coverage.  

Our doctor has made it perfectly clear that our only chance at me carrying a baby is through in vitro fertilization (IVF) with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)... THE most expensive treatment option.  My daddy always said I have expensive taste. ;-)

One cycle is going to cost in the ballpark of $15k, not including the drugs.  And we have NO.GUARANTEES that that cycle will work.  Or, we can use a program offered by Attain Fertility, where we pay a slightly higher price for four tries (2 fresh, 2 frozen)... or the shared-risk program where we pay quite a bit more for six cycles and a money-back guarantee.  Whichever way we go, we're going to need to be able to save a LOT of money.  And we're still paying rent AND mortgage, so saving is going to be really tough for a while. 

We've toyed with the idea of fundraising, and currently I have a line in all of my etsy listings stating that all proceeds are going to our IVF fund.  I'm thinking about a silent auction of my jewelry and baked goods, and maybe some other handmade things friends and family donate.  

But, I think my best idea so far is a kissing booth

Charley is even cuter than this pup!  I think he could earn enough to get a baby brother or sister for himself!  


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Season's Greetings: A Witnessing Opportunity and a Free Printable

Let's talk trick-or-treat. 

I LOVED trick-or-treating.  But one thing that could always bum me out was a household that passed out tracts instead of candy.  Not that there is a THING in the WORLD wrong with passing out tracts!  Trick-or-treat is a great time to come in contact with a bunch of kids and families you might otherwise have never had the opportunity to share your faith with.  Candy AND a tract? Awesome.  

Fast forward a few years to my college days, and I loved the tradition of "Safe Trick-or-Treat" when hundreds of the little kids of Oxford, Ohio would come trouping through the halls of my dorm and a bunch of college kids (some in costumes) (as in, me) would pass out candy. 

I came up with this little label idea back then, because I couldn't afford, on a college kid's budget, both candy and tracts, and I REFUSED to be the stodgy one who only gave out tracts.  These labels print 30 to a page (Avery 5160), so they're cheap and cute, and a good way of sharing God's love.  

I want to share these with you, so you can share the Gospel with the kiddies and families in your neighborhood.  I think I figured out a free and easy way to do so (thanks to the hubby who is WAY smarter about online stuff than I am!).  You shouldn't have to register or enter personal info or anything... if it doesn't work out like that, let me know... I'll email the .pub to ya!

Just go to my dropbox, download the Publisher document, print these out and stick them on good candy.  GOOD CANDY!  You're witnessing here, no nasty Bottlecaps or Dots or Almond Joy!!! The kids will be excited - good candy has that effect on them... the parents just may look up the unfamiliar Bible reference.  John 3:16 would have been an appropriate choice for this project, but I wanted a verse that people wouldn't necessarily glance at and ignore.  I'm betting more people who don't know the Lord know John 3:16 than know Titus 3:4-7.  In this case, curiosity could be a good thing!  It may lead people to open up a Bible that's gathering dust or even google the Good News.  :-)



"But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life."  (NIV)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Season's Greetings: Fall Leaves Door Initial

Today, I'm sharing a project I did last year.  

I made one of these for us, one for my in-laws and one for my grandparents.  But... I left ours in Ohio. :-(  So, I decided to make a new one and take pictures for a tutorial!  I have to admit, though... I took the slightly cheaper way out, and bought the most inexpensive supplies I could find.  I still love my Ohio "H" and didn't want to permanently replace it.  That being said, I made this for under $5... not bad for a pretty cute little door dec!

Gather supplies: 
~ A wooden letter.  Mine is from Hobby Lobby.  The simpler the shape, the better.  You'll see how the serifs on mine don't show up.
~ Some leaves.  I got a bag for about a dollar from Michaels... for my "nicer" one, I think I ended up with a vine from Hobby Lobby.  It had leaves of different sizes and types, as well as some berries and acorns.  Go as all-out as you want :-) 
~ Ribbon.  For the hanger.
~  Glue Gun
~ Scissors 
 ~ Optional: World's cutest scarecrow.  From Michaels... he's definitely getting pulled off this one and added to our gorgeous "H" from home.
Now... sort your leaves by size and color.

Lay them out on your letter... you want to put the larger leaves on the bottom, and vary the directions they face... I think, technically, the stems always point downwards when leaves fall.  Not sure WHY I think this... but that's what I stuck with.  Also, make sure to cover all of the wood on the letter... my serifs made this a little tough.  

Glue them down.

Add any little acorns, berries, scarecrows :-)

Glue ribbon to the back of the letter for hanging.

Simple, and adorable!!!  This would be great on a front door, of course, but what about a dorm door?  Or let each kid have their own initial on their bedroom door! 

And here is a picture my father-in-law sent of theirs, so you can see one with the "nicer" leaves and such :-)  Sorry for the kinda low resolution... but you get the idea!

Happy fall, y'all!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Whatever Wednesday: I'm THAT Puppy-Mom

As long as my only child is a fuzzy one, this is happening.  And - honestly - probably after the less-fuzzy kids come, too. ;-)

This is last year's costume...

He seems to like the dragon better... probably because it doesn't have sleeves.  We didn't think to costume shop until the last minute when he was just a few months old... and the only thing we could find in his size was a "mounted moose" costume.  Nope, not for my adorable new baby!

I just found out that we probably won't have any trick-or-treaters this year.  I'm kinda surprised... I'd have thought, especially for the kids who live here, an apartment complex would be a great place to trick-or-treat... lots of homes REALLY close together.  Oh well.  I'll keep a couple of candy bars handy, and a dog dressed up just in case :-)  Fortunately, he's full grown, so these costumes should still fit when we're in a house again.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Shop Talk: Making Up for Lost Time

Sorry I missed last week's shop update!  I can WAY more than make up for it today, though, with a LOT of new jewelry for sale... and a COUPON CODE to celebrate the flood of new listings!

First up, one of my favorite things I've made in a while... the "Amalfi" bracelet.  I named it after a beautiful place we visited on our honeymoon. It's made up of a bunch of fun gemstones and tiny crystals, and I just adore it!

Next, the "Whirlpool" collection.  Or, what I've made of it so far.  In the future, expect some earrings with crystal drops and maybe even a whole bracelet!

Here is the "old" addition to the etsy shop... a necklace I showed off here a long, long time ago, and finally made another just like mine to offer for sale :-)  It's classic and romantic... so I named it "Victoria."

I think this bracelet is fun and quirky and definitely a unique look!  It also features crystals in one of this autumn's hottest colors, Bright Chartreuse.  Hip to Be Square

This is another style I have made frequently in the past but am just now putting in the shop.  This one is SUPER-customizable, thanks to Swarovski's amazing range of colors.  Perfect for bridesmaids' earrings!  And, if Juliet Capulet had had access to Swarovski crystals... you KNOW she'd have fallen for these "Juliet" earrings.  :-)


Last for today... the "Dazzle" bracelet in clear and Siam crystal.  A spiffy Christmas gift for the sparkle lover in your life, right? 

And finally, as promised... a coupon code.  Good for 15% off your order from Always, Katie on, through Sunday night, the 23rd.  


Share with your friends... hubby... anybody who loves jewelry or who might be persuaded to buy some for you ;-)  My readership is kinda small, but y'all are great, and I appreciate you so very much!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Season's Greetings! (Autumn Recipe Roundup)

My Thursday feature is going to be "Season's Greetings."  I plan to do a few round-ups of recipes and crafts, as well as a few crafts of my own creation.  The fall season will be pretty short, since I'm wanting to start sharing CHRISTMAS stuff while it's still early enough to plan and implement some of what you'll read here.  

Today, I have rounded up 22 delicious-looking fall recipes, heavy on the apple and pumpkin, yummm... 

3. Pumpkin Pie Dip (and I LOVE the idea of serving it in a little hollow pumpkin!)

6. Pumpkin-Shaped Cake (Two bundts iced together - CLEVER!)
7. Candy Corn Sugar Cookies (I've done these... easy and way cool!)

13. Funnel Cake (Done this, LOVE IT!  Totally comes out as yummy as anything at a fair!)
14. Layered Toffee Cheesecake and Pumpkin Pie (Made this for last Thanksgiving.  Also delish!)
15. Crescent Roll Apple Dumplings (I make this... oh... at least monthly.
16. Stove-Top Kettle Corn (Took me a couple batches to get this one figured out, but SO worth it.)

21. (Low-Calorie) Cream Cheese Icing Stuffed Pumpkin Bread (do you not want to weep at the beauty that is this idea? And low-cal? BOOyah!)

Next round-up, a bunch of crafty DIY-ish-ness!


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