Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Weight Loss - HEALTH journey

I mentioned several weeks ago that I have begun a new adventure....one of health.  I have always had an interest in health, and this spring I decided I was going to get back into shape.  I had hopes of losing a few pounds and really get into shape.  Well, I worked and worked and go into shape...I think.  I felt pretty good, but the pounds weren't going anywhere very quickly (except up...they did go up pretty quickly).  I worked hard to drop a few pounds in about that many weeks, which I thought was pretty good.  Then the lbs got stuck, and after losing some motivation for a week....they all came back!  YEP - in ONE WEEK!

So, in search of finding a good, quality multi-vitamin I re-discovered Herbalife.  My mom had been a distributor for Herbalife and I really wanted to start taking it as my multivitamin AND they have weight loss programs as well.  So, after careful prayer and thought (and twisting my husband's arm) I took the plunge and became a distributor.  I'm SO excited to help people get healthy - whatever that may be for them.

My results....so far:  I feel incredible.  Let me say that again.  I FEEL INCREDIBLE!  I have more energy and feel more motivated than ever to choose healthy eating habits.  Also, the pounds are dropping!  I'm pretty close to being back to "marriage weight."  Bye-bye post-marriage weight....and baby weight, etc, etc.!  In the first 7 days, I lost 7 lbs!  So far, after 4 weeks (28 days) I lost 17 lbs and 20 inches!!!

So, if you're interested in more information, go here.  Fill out the form, and I will either call you or send you an email with a video to help explain the products.  They are ALL-NATURAL, EPHEDRINE-FREE!  It's health food, people.  It's amazing - These products have helped people lose weight, gain weight, maintain weight.  People have experienced their blood pressure lower, cholesterol lower, allergy problems overcome, and SO MUCH MORE!  Check it out - you'll never be better!

If you're interested in a legitimate at-home business, go here for more information. Again, I'll be in touch with you.

I'll post here my success as my weight loss and health journey continues.

I also just did some Christmas shopping, so check back here for my creations that will soon be coming, hopefully :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Oatmeal Pancakes

Last Monday, I began a new nutrition program for 2 reasons.  First, to lose some weight.  Secondly, to be healthier and just maintain a higher level of nutrition.  I'll be posting in more detail about that soon.

Today, I wanted to share a new favorite recipe of mine.  I've been trying to eat foods that are better for me.  I'm not sure how "healthy" this recipe really is, but I'm pretty sure it has to be better than regular pancakes.  You can find the recipe at allrecipes.  HOWEVER, as soon as you print it out, get a pen and make this update....change the vegetable oil and use applesauce instead.  They are very yummy...I like the taste of them even better than the bisquick version I've used forever.  I double the recipe!  MMmmm!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Almost been 1 week

I can't believe that it's almost been 1 week since I've posted. I had different plans. I'm in the middle of some training for a new endeavor AND because of this decision I am also at least 5 pounds lighter than Monday :) YAY!

I can't believe how quickly my kids are changing. Caleb has, for the most part, been such a big boy. In fact, he's been trying to help and be the boss of his sister - she's not so fond of that. Haley is growing up so fast!She loves to play with the bigger kids and will crawl around and growl right along with them.

Grandma came and made a quick visit last weekend and we were able to get away and grab some pumpkins.  I'm looking forward to carving them with the kiddos....and making pumpkin seeds!!  Mmmmm!

Monday, October 11, 2010

"Baseball" shirt Tutorial....my first

Today is my first....TUTORIAL!  I'm so excited to share what I've been working on.  I began trying to make something for my sister who just had her 3rd baby boy.  I wanted to make them something cool so that all three boys could be matchy-matchy.  I played around with a lot of different ideas, but decided that it'd be cool to have their initials appliqued on something.  I saw a few patterns that I could purchase, and a few tutorials for other regular shirts, but I LOVE this baseball-style shirts, especially on active little boys.  So, I picked up one of my son's, size 4T shirts and drew up my own pattern.  AND...I didn't stop there.  I didn't want to spend more on fabric to make my own then I'd have to, so I sent my husband to his closet to pull out old shirts that he wasn't wearing anymore...and VIOLA!  I had knit fabric that was already finished on the bottom (even better).  It worked out GREAT!  I LOVE upcycling! :) Go here AND here to find finished pics!

First, grab a shirt in the size you are desiring.  And make draw a pattern.  I like to draw the pattern on newspaper, but you can use whatever you'd like.  You'll need a pattern for a sleeve, the bodice (one piece will work for the front and back), and a collar.  I chose to do the sleeve first.  Lay out the shirt and draw around it.  I  drew a little outside of the shirt to accommodate for a small seam allowance.  I didn't want a seam along the top of the sleeve, so I knew that the top part was going to have to be pretty straight so that I could cut it out on a fold.

Next, draw the pattern for the bodice.  I also planned on cutting the bodice on a fold, so I folded my original shirt in half and cut the pattern for that piece.  The pattern should be half of the front or back.

Next for the collar.  The collar is probably the trickiest. You can try to cut the pattern for the collar by using your original shirt.  However, I figured out how tall I wanted the collar (1 inch) and added 5/8 inch for seam allowance.  Then I multiplied this by 2 (1 5/8 X 2 = 3 1/4").  This is how tall the collar is.
Then I measured the neckline of the bodice and multiplied by 4 (because your pattern is only half of the front)  And also add the small amount of the neck-edge of the sleeve.  So, now you should have a pattern for the bodice, sleeve and collar.

Next, grab your t-shirt and cut out your pieces.  You should cut out 2 bodice pieces (on folds), 2 sleeve pieces (on folds) and 1 collar piece.  **If you can cut the bodice out of the bottom part of your old t-shirt, you won't have to finish the bottom.....if you cannot do this, you have to cut your pieces extra long to accommodate for the seam.

Now, for the fun part...the sewing!  First, let's work a little on the collar.  Sew the ends of the collar together, right sides together to make a circle.  Then fold the collar in half lengthwise WRONG sides together!  Sew a 1/2" seam (see pic).  Then set the collar aside for a little while.

Now, take one sleeve and lay it on one of the bodice pieces, right sides together, pin and sew.  (***I used my serger, but if you don't use a serger don't worry.  I would just do a zig-zag stitch across each piece before you sew them together to finish the edges so they don't roll on the inside of your shirt***).  Repeat these steps to add a sleeve on both sides of the front, and then add the back piece to the sleeves as well.  It should look like the picture on the left.

Now, you need to make a decision.  If you want the ends of your sleeves finished and they are not finished, you CAN fix them now.  It's not quite as clean, but MUCH simpler than finishing the sleeves when the opening is so much smaller.  Either way, it works...and you can leave it unfinished if you'd like.

Next, fold the shirt right sides together.  Match up the bottom of the front and back as well as the sleeves.  Be sure to pin before you slow, because you want to make sure that you match up where the sleeve and the bodice meet (at the armpit).  Start at the bottom of the shirt and sew up the shirt, armpit and down the sleeve to the end of the sleeve.

Almost done! :)

Next, we need to sew the collar on.  First, pin the collar on the right side of the shirt.  Don't worry if it's not exact as knit is forgiving.  Stitch the collar on, using a 5/8" seam allowance.  This seam allowance will allow you to cover up your original stitch.  Once stitched, you can clip the curves if you'd like to help the collar lay down nicely.  Just be sure not to clip the 5/8" stitching.

Once stitched, turn you color up and stitch as close as you can around the shirt and shoulder pieces and catch the seam of the collar.

Now, you are done or ready to embellish the shirts as you wish.  Once I get pics, I'll share the embellished shirts I made for my nephews! :)  Happy Upcycling and Sewing!

Any questions or comments are welcome!

handmade projects

OO-OO Owl Cookies

I saw these owl cookies over at Oopsey Daisy and couldn't wait to try them!  They are so cute and they taste yummy, too!  (I know, real creative pic...I apologize.  I feel like I'm lucky to get a picture before they're eaten!)

Friday, October 8, 2010

I'm Back!

I'm slowly entering back into the real world after having been gone from home and visiting my parents and a couple of my siblings and their families.  I actually have been back for 5 days already, but I'm just now finding time (and the sanity) to sit down and write.  I have been working on a couple of things I'd like to show you.  One of a cute little something that you bake (MMmmm!) that I'll link to the original and the other I created for all my nephews - I'm even planning to do a tutorial on that...my first one!

But for now, I wanted to point out that I have a new button that I created from scratch (whoo hoo!).  So, "grab my button" and come back soon!

And since posts are better with pictures, here's what my little man did quite a bit the week we were gone.  He asked to hold my nephew all the time and would sit there for a LONG time!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Marriage Retreat

Jonathon and I just returned from a much-needed weekend away.  We attended a marriage retreat called A Weekend to Remember.  It was nice to just spend uninterrupted time together; to focus on one another and just enjoy each other.  Our kids stayed at home with my parents, and were glad to see them this afternoon.

We ate at a couple of new places and were VERY pleased.  The first was Big Bowl, which is a Chinese/Thai food restaurant.  It was VERY good.  I had the Spicy Cashew Chicken...MMmmm!!  The second place was a burger joint called Meat Heads.  Very cool place to eat!  

So, if you are married, regardless of how long, I would encourage you to look into attending a retreat like this one.  We all need a boost here and there, and a God-honoring marriage is a life-long process.  Click here to see Family Life's information for their retreats.  (If you attend a church, I believe that you can get a better rate if you try to take a few other couples from your church).  But regardless, it's definitely worth it.  We need to protect and fight for our marriages, because Satan is on the attack and trying to destroy marriages because strong marriages are a threat to him.

P.S. - I also discovered, in person, Anthropologie.  Ooohhh $$$$$.  But lots of inspiration!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Sister is My Hero

My younger sister is my hero.  I just wanted to put that in print somewhere.  MY SISTER IS MY HERO.

I've always cared deeply for my brother and sisters and parents.  I feel like we're a pretty close family.  We really enjoy being around one another.  I feel like I can tell my siblings and parents just about anything, and I hope they feel the same way, too.  I also feel that I can trust that they'll tell me the truth about things and, for the most part, I hope I take the truth well.  So, I feel truly blessed by my family.

But back to my hero.  I remember the first time I realized that she had something that I didn't.  We were pretty young and we both just met some people and I just went on with the activities of the day.  Before I knew it, she was running around with these people as if they'd been friends forever.  I remember wishing I could make friends like that.  But it wasn't because she was trying to be popular, it was because she LOVES people.  And I mean TRULY LOVES, the way we're all supposed to.  A self-less kind of love, and she has it...for everyone she meets.  If you've met my sister, you know that.  She's a great friend.

She's a great sister, too.  She calls just because.  She listens anytime of the day (or night) even in the midst of her own craziness.  She is an encourager and she has a pure heart.  She isn't afraid to challenge me to think outside of myself and sometimes tells me the things I don't really want to hear, but I need to...She's a great sister.

And she's an AMAZING Mom and Wife.  We had a great example of a mom (and a wife to my dad) to learn from, and my sister caught it all!  She prays for her kids like I'd like to.  She has patience beyond what I can describe and she gives all of herself to others.

But most of all, my sister is my hero because of the Godly example that she is.  She has strength beyond measure.  In a whirlwind 24-hr period, my sister's perfect baby girl went from being seemingly perfect to she and my brother-in-law having to say good-bye to their baby girl this side of heaven.  But the grace and humility that exuded from her from that day on has amazed me.  And I know that it wasn't just "holding it together" for the few hard days at the beginning.  She presses on everyday, because even through this unthinkable pain, her eyes are on the prize (Loving Jesus and People).  She looks for opportunities to LOVE people that she can now connect with more than before because of this experience.  She most definitely is my HERO and I am truly blessed to have a WOMAN of GOD to walk alongside and learn from.  You can read a little more of her heart and life here.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Quick Recipe!

I was searching the web for a quick & easy recipe for snacks.  I kind of wanted to find something that was "fall" themed but it had to be simple and was limited to what I had in my pantry.  I fell upon this recipe here.  Mmmm! Whoever decided that chocolate and peanut butter went well together was a genius!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Blogging world

I have been spending lots of time reading sewing and craft blogs and have enjoyed every minute of it!  So many great ideas out there!  I just found a great new blog here.  Check out her first giveaway here (especially if you love fabric and sewing (my favorite "craft").

Friday, September 3, 2010

Things I Love

It's Friday of a 3-day weekend, what more can you love than that!?  I'm looking forward to enjoying this long weekend with my family and my in-laws that are here visiting as well.  I hope everyone can have a relaxing weekend and take time to just enjoy.  Rebel against the fast-paced, experience-based society and just be with your family - love the people around you.

I'm grateful for time like that this weekend.  Stress-free, schedule-free....deep breath...awww...it feels good.  I'm grateful that my son and husband "hid" under the blankets and pillows for at least 20 minutes tonight in the living room.  I'm grateful that my son is pretending to make us all ice cream cones complete with sound effects and all. I'm grateful to hear my daughter laugh so hard that she can barely stand up.  Awww...this is sweet!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Watermelon Cookies

I got this idea on the web somewhere, but now I can't seem to find where.  Anyway, I've been wanting to make these ever since I found them, and hadn't found a "reason" to make them yet.  Well, tonight is our Fall Kick-off for Brigade, which is the jr/sr high ministry at our church

These are not watermelon flavored, but just look like watermelon slices. 

First, Grab your favorite sugar cookie recipe.  I use one from Gooseberry Patch Old-Fashioned Country Cookies recipe book.  Prepare the dough as normal, except add in some green food-coloring.  (You may have to add a little bit more flour due to the liquid of the food-coloring).  Continue as directed in the recipe.  Roll them out and cut them into half-circles.  I used the top of a round tupperware container and then cut those in half.  And BAKE.

For the frosting, I use butter frosting from Better Homes and Garden cookbook:
1/3 cup butter or margarine
4 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
red or pink food coloring

Mix this up and frost the cookies, leaving an edge on the outer circle part to make it look like a watermelon slice.  Then I used chocolate chips to look like seeds! Here's how mine turned out - please keep in mind, my husband had the camera at the church getting ready for the night and my 3-yr old "helped" me in most stages.

Hope the kiddos love them as much as we have (You have to "try" them to be sure the taste ok)

(The left-over frosting goes wonderfully with graham crackers for a quick snack)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I Need Structure...I guess

I'm sure we all need a little bit of structure.  I like the part of structure that gives me goals to reach for and helps me feel like I'm accomplishing something.  I don't like the part of structure that feels like it's strangling you.  Being a stay-at-home mom, I struggle sometimes with feeling like I NEED to get certain things done but WANTING to do other things.  I NEED to clean, but I WANT to play with my kids or play on the computer or read blogs or do crafts or sew....You can see that my wants are often longer than what I think I need to do.  And I used to make 1 day a week my "cleaning" day, but then I rarely finished in one day, and some weeks didn't get ANY cleaning done at all.  It's funny because the last few weeks I decided that I would focus on one thing a day.  Tuesdays I'd do laundry, Wednesday I'd dust and do bathrooms, etc. 
Then I found this blog.  Perfect!  (This is a really cool blog...check out her other entries, too).  I LOVE this idea...click here for another entry that's more specific to week-to-week.  I can feel like I get it all done everyday...I spend a little bit of time doing my Need-to's and have more time for the Want to's.  I don't have to feel like all day that I Should be doing something else.  And, I can have it in print...to remind me. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Homemade Salsa

We had Santa Fe Chicken last night, which is a Homemade Gourmet recipe.  But instead of using their salsa (which I should since I'm a consultant) I use our FAVORITE salsa recipe.  It's one we make from scratch at home.  My childhood neighbor passed this on to my mom, and my husband and I have tweaked it just a little.  Here it goes:

28 oz of Tomatoes (you can use canned, or fresh - our favorite is fresh)
5-6 green onions
3-4 garlic cloves (we used to you minced garlic, but have recently made the switch to fresh MMmmm!)
1-2 teaspoons of ground cumin
jalapenos to taste
3 capfuls of lime juice (or you can use lime pepper and eliminate the black pepper)
salt & pepper to taste

I blend all this up in my food processor.  Then, bring out the chips and taste it so you can add more of anything you want!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Calorie Watch

I failed to post yesterday, so I figured I'd post twice today!  Eventually I'd love to come up with a "plan" for the blog, because I just like plans and it helps keep me on target.  Like every day of the week would have it's own category and that's what I'd post on that day...we'll see.  It's a target :)  I will eventually get there!  Anyway, I've been on a mission since April to get back into shape and had hoped to lose a few pounds in the process.  Well, the getting into shape seemed to be going okay, but the losing part was going pretty slowly (aka non-existant) - partly because I wasn't watching what I was eating.  SO, a good friend suggested myfitnesspal.com to me.  It's a FREE website that will help you keep track of your calories.  You enter your goals, what you eat, as well as any exercise. On a tight budget, FREE sounded perfect!  It's been good for me; it was just what I needed to be more aware of my eating habits.  So here's a link in case you're interested here.  I am motivated as the last couple of weeks, this old woman (Yes, me) jogged while pushing my two kiddos and felt better than I felt when I was 19 and had to run a timed 2 mile for basketball.  Maybe it's the fact that it's my idea now and not that I'm forced to do it, but I felt good and excited that it didn't hurt as bad as I remembered.  I will be a runner someday ;)

Homemade Laundry Soap

The festival wasn't as big of a hit as I had hoped.  I had high hopes of selling out of everything, but that was not the case.  I have contacted the two people that said they would like to host a Homemade Gourmet party, but haven't gotten anything on the calendar yet.  Hopefully, those two parties will pull through and help me make up what I invested and break even.

So the last couple of weeks I've spent catching up on housework and spending time with the kiddos.  I haven't had much time to create.  My first thing to tackle will be the new bedroom curtains, which won't be fancy due to the small amount of fabric I have, but we'll see what I can figure out.  Meanwhile, I wanted to post this awesome recipe for laundry soap.  It is minimal work to prepare and TONS cheaper than buying soap.  My husband's cousin gave me this recipe, but there are several variations online.  This is a powder recipe, but you can even make the liquid stuff from scratch as well.  Here's to saving money!

1 cup shaved Felz-Naptha soap (I haven't found this in walmart, but the smaller grocery stores seem to carry it by their regular body soap)
1/2 cup Borax (found in laundry aisle)
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Powder (also found in laundry aisle)

I usually shave about 2/3 of a bar of Felz-Naptha and that makes 2 cups of shavings.  Then I mix in 1 cup each of Borax and A&H Powder.  I bought 1 box of borax and A&H powder over a year ago, and still haven't bought more.  I've bought quite a few bars of soap, but they're about $1.25 or less a piece.  SO CHEAP compared to buying laundry soap.  I love it!  You can save the rest of the bar of soap for pre-treating stains, too!


Friday, August 13, 2010

Old to New Creations

I'm preparing for my first festival.  I have a booth rented for our town-wide festival.  I will be selling Homemade Gourmet products - click here for more information on these amazing products that will help you put a healthy home-cooked meal on the dinner table! 

I will also have a few of my own versions of the pillowcase dresses as well as some bags from "old" and "used" jeans and sheets.  I love the idea of using old things that we normally throw out to make fun and cute things..old to new!  I've found so many things I'd like to try on other people's blogs, so I hope that it's okay to post a link here once I get them done and try them on my cutie patootie!

A couple of the biggest blessings in my life are my two kiddos.  I love them so much, and I am so thankful to God for them, but also for the opportunity to experience the LIFE that they bring.  I didn't have a nursing cover with my first, but made sure to figure out how to make one for my second.  I was so much more comfortable nursing her out and about.  So, I think this is one of the BEST gifts you can give a new mommy or a mommy-to-be.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

First Festival. First Post

I've been looking around at blogs and websites and getting very inspired to start creating.  I have so many ideas right now and other people's {very creative people} ideas that I can't wait to try.

I hope this blog will be a place that I can express and share what is inspiring me.  So...I'm off to create :)