My crafting has taken a bit of the back burner lately. Life is a bit hectic, and crafting almost seemed overwhelming to me. I have to be creative AND clean up a mess after? Plus I’d have to search all around the house for the required supplies, ugh, just so much work! One of these days I’ll make my own little craft room/area where everything is organized neatly in one location. That day is not today. Today is a day simply for one craft that I got around to doing.
It all started with my oldest daughter needing an Easter Bonnet for school, so we went to the dollar store and hot glued the crap out of an old fedora hat until voila, an “Easter Bonnet”. Well this craft felt good. It felt really good! It reminded me how crafting, albeit messy and sometimes a hassle, really is enjoyable for me and I’d been a slacker for far too long. I knew my original Easter wreath that I had put together several years prior to was in need of a face lift, nay, over haul.
Remember the original?
Well some of the little pink eggs were starting to fall off and I just didn’t love it anymore, and decided to strip it nude and start fresh. Using more dollar store goodies and even more hot glue, I created my new and improved Easter Wreath 1.2!
The bad news is that the grass went out so far that it no longer fit a standard sized door. Hahah, and this type of situation is sooo me. I get so into certain things, and I tend to cut corners, thinking, nah… I’m good. Going all the way around the corner properly is for suckers! Thus my extra large wreath.
The good news is that I now have an indoor wreath! Until I get the crafting itch again that is. Yes, a year or 4 down the road, I will grow tired of this wreath and expose it’s twiggy skeleton again. Perhaps then I will have an outdoor wreath. We’ll see.
Also I think it’s nice, yadda yadda.
My first goal was 13lbs and I finally achieved that a few days ago. It felt so good to actually see those numbers on the scale. This achievement didn’t come without it’s drama however. For 3 days steady the scale didn’t move. Not even 0.1lb, which has NEVER happened to me. The scale always moves a least a tiny bit. I was at a stale mate, and with just 1lb left to lose, I was feeling quite pissed off! The scale had never seen so little action. It did however provide me with the last motivation I needed to stay on track and hit the treadmill a few times.
On average I lost 1.63lbs per week which is pretty ideal in my eyes. Makes it seem more permanent the slower it comes off. In total my husband and I have both lost 28lbs, and still counting.
I’m sort of wavering today, which is typical for me. I reach a goal, and it’s like my mind clicks, and tells me that I am good to slack off now. Some days I just want to take a break, but I know that a small break will turn into falling off the wagon, and I do not plan to find myself on the dirty ground next to a stupid wagon. Sometimes I just add an additional cheat day to my week (out of necessity really), but I make sure to get back on track as soon as I can. Extra snacks in the afternoon? Don’t throw your day away! Maintain a healthy supper and snack before bed time. The week is still salvageable.
My new goal is 10lbs away. I haven’t set a time limit for myself, especially with the holidays coming up. I’m prepared for a slower drop in weight, and I am okay with that. I don’t want to deprive myself. I think it’s important that a change in diet shouldn’t interfere too much with your social life, or else it’s just another excuse to quit.
Typically I get an idea in my head, then I plan it all out and want to do it all RIGHT NOW! I’m extreme like that, and often it will lead to high highs and low lows. AKA I’ll be stationed at the nearest McDonalds a few days later. For example, a few years back my husband and I thought it would be a great idea to do a 1 week juice cleanse… With a new born… During a move from one city to the next. Yeah, that was a disaster waiting to happen. We were at each others throats, and then we were at KFC, just like that! Slow and steady is unnatural for me, but it’s definitely way more efficient.
The ol’ ball n’ chain and I have booked ourselves a little trip to NYC in February for our anniversary, so that’s a good piece of motivation to have on our minds right now. Until next time…
Today is the middle of week 3 and so far things have been going pretty well. Week 1 went basically according to plan. I had to up the calories a little bit because I had noticed a drop in my milk supply, but that was an easy fix. Eat more? Don’t mind if I do! As for exercise, I didn’t end up going for a walk every day like I had hoped. I did walk some days, but for the most part, I was just sure to be active at home. Cleaning, cooking, general tidying – I was always on my feet. The first few days I was starving, and had to have many snacks, but I stuck with it. I had some headaches, and felt like I was about to get sick even though I never ended up getting sick, so I’m assuming there was some detoxing going on. Did I mention I’m basically addicted to sugar? Yeah, I guess it was holding on to my body for dear life as I murdered it per se.
I had a cheat day on Halloween which worked out rather well for me, and allowed me to eat candy while it was very much in my face. I really did not want to set myself up for failure, and this couldn’t have worked out better for me.
Week 2 I still ate veggie omelettes or oatmeal for breakfast, with salads for lunch, but my husband and I decided to switch up our suppers a little bit. We had turkey meatballs with sweet potato mash, and the same meatballs with spaghetti squash, and always lots of veggies.
I had some bok choy in the fridge, and decided a lunch change was in order. I sauteed a bunch of vegetables, and cooked some quinoa to make a veggie stir fry. For suppers we’ve been having sweet potato and turkey sheppards pie and chicken parm with half pasta, half peppers and onions.
So far, from day 1, I’ve lost just a little over 7 lbs. I am definitely one to bloat easily, so I’m sure I was retaining water to begin with, from all of the salt and sugar I had been eating. I plan to stick with this and see where it takes me. I have 5 lbs left until I reach my first goal, so there is still plenty more to come.
So it is finally here, tomorrow is 6 weeks postpartum, and the beginning of my journey to health and wellness. To start off, I will be making small goals instead of a giant one that seems very far away.
For week 1, my fitness goal is to go for a walk every single day, whether it be outside or on the treadmill. I’m also going to do some squats, lunges, crunches, and a few moves to work out my triceps. A little bit every day, whenever I can fit it in.
As for food, my husband and I have meal prepped some healthy food for the week.
Breakfast: Oatmeal w/ fruit
Lunch: Salad, hard boiled egg and an orange
Snack: Apple w/ natural peanut butter
Supper: Chicken breast, rice, broiled zucchini and a chocolate pudding (I need some chocolate =])
Snack: Veggies and hummus
Breakfast: Veggie omelet
Lunch: Tuna, salad and a banana
Snack: Apple w/ natural peanut butter
Supper: Chicken, sweet potato, cauliflower and pudding
Snack: Veggies and hummus
I’m going to alternate between the two days so that I don’t get bored. I’m also not going to be stingy on the portions. The last thing I want to do is feel deprived and be tempted to eat crap, plus I am breast feeding and can’t cut too many calories. I’m also going to do one cheat day a week; something to look forward to, and tell myself if/when I’m feeling deprived. Hopefully this plan works for me, and then I can move on to other bigger and better goals.
Wish me luck!
There came a time when my husband and I were living life on a tight budget. These times seem to come and go depending on whatever life throws us, and we’ve had to pick up money saving habits along the way. As the years have gone on, I’ve continued to collect these money saving habits, and despite our financial situation, I still use all of my money saving techniques today.
First thing we do is add up our previous months spending, and form a reasonable budget for the following month. When I add up the grand total, I usually don’t like the number, so I’ll go back through the list and see where we can adjust and cut costs. Here are some general places that you can cut costs.
- Cancel your cable. We just have the internet and Netflix. I find that I really don’t miss much TV once it’s gone, and we save almost $100/month just by doing this.
- Lower your heat, turn off the lights, and monitor your hot water consumption.
- Look through your flyers for sales and form a meal plan. Buy in bulk and always check out the discount racks. A lot of people are too snobby to buy discounted food, but why? Especially if you are going to eat it that day, or freeze it. I buy my meat in bulk from Costco, or 50% off. It’s easier to find these deals when you show up first thing in the morning on a weekday. Not only is the store empty, but you get first pick of everything, not just sale items. I also buy 50% bakery items when I can. I make my own garlic bread and chop up bread cubes for homemade croutons in soups and on salads.
- Don’t be afraid to shop the dollar store. Brand name pasta sauce, sugar, cake mix, spices etc. They are all brands you will find in the grocery store, but at a discounted price. Be aware of some things like Kraft Dinner that you can often buy in larger quantities for cheaper at the grocery store. Never assume one store always has the cheapest prices.
- Shop sales and clearance for next year. I do this for clothes, holiday decor and anything seasonal really. I buy my kids clothes at crazy discounts in larger sizes and put it away for next year. If you are a shopaholic, you still get to buy buy buy, but everything is cheaper. Sure, you don’t get to wear any of the clothes now, but it always feels like Christmas when you can open up that box of new summer clothes the following year. We are planning a Disney trip this spring, so November 1 I’ll be heading to the store to grab some cheap Halloween costumes for my girls. They can dress up as their favourite Disney Princess while we are on vacation, and we won’t have to break the bank or use our vacation budget to accomplish this!
- Don’t waste left overs, produce etc. This is why meal planning is so important. It helps to clean and prep your produce so that you’ll be more prone to grab fruits and veggies as a snack to ensure it all gets eaten. Plus it’s likely more healthy for you than what you were gonna grab from the cupboard. As for left overs, I love having pasta, stew, casserole for lunch instead of a sandwich. I never understood why leftovers are looked at as complete garbage to some people. It was delicious last night for supper, why wouldn’t you wanna get down on that again??
- Live a minimalist life – have 1 of something instead of 4. Even if it means washing more often, or cycling it out, it just makes life much less complicated. Less clutter in your closets, cupboards, shelves and so on will be much appreciated and makes things far more simple in the long run. Did I mention having less crap around means you spent less money?
- Make/Bake it yourself – This is cheaper and healthier. Bake bread and cookies, sew your own new pillow cases for the cushions on the couch or make your own wall art to decorate a room. You can find cheap canvases at a liquidation or dollar store and there are tons of simple tutorials for this on Pinterest.
- Use coupons. Whether you find them in the flyers, on food packaging, or print them off online, coupons are sure to cut your costs in the long run. They especially come in hand for things that you are constantly buying like coffee, or diapers if you’re a parent. Don’t forget promo/coupon codes when shopping online. If I’m doing any shopping online, first I’ll check to see if they have a deal with Airmiles, so that I can collect points there. I’ll also google for coupon codes, and don’t forget to sign up with the website. They’ll usually have 10-15% off your first order just by simply signing up your email address.
- Make your own cleaning supplies. I have a foam soap dispenser that I add 1/3 liquid soap from the dollar store, then top up with water. That is literally how foam soap is made, even from the fancy bath shops! You can find many tutorials on how to make your own Febreeze, window cleaner, laundry soap etc on Pinterest. Look it up! Plus this route is better for you and the environment. Win win win.
- Check out store websites ahead of time to look for the best price before heading out to buy. It saves you from driving around checking out store to store for a good product and/or price and will save you gas and your personal time. It also eliminates those impulse buys. I hate purchasing something then seeing it cheaper at another store a few days later. Especially if I know I impulse bought the product simply for the convenience of me being there. Sad times.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount when a product is damaged or missing a piece. The other day I was at Winners looking for a great picture frame. I found a really nice one, but the backing with the stand on it was missing. I knew I planned to hang the frame on the wall, so having no stand didn’t bother me. When I got to the cashier I was still sure to ask if I could receive a discount on the frame. They don’t need to know whether the missing piece was important to you or not, that’s not the point😉
- Buy second hand. The less you buy brand new, the more money you’ll save, plus less product packaging will go to waste. Isn’t it annoying having to get rid of all of the packaging on toys, small appliances, decor etc? I prefer to buy furniture like dressers, shelves and such on Kijiji (online classifieds) to avoid all of the large cardboard that I’ll need to cut up and break down afterwards. Plus I won’t have to put all the furniture together. After moving as much as I have, you’ll hate building furniture too!
I really do use these techniques all the time, and once you start saving money it becomes addicting. You’ll feel guilty buying things full price simply because you are too lazy to put in the work. Saving your family money that you can use for other things (like, say, a vacation to Disney World?) can be very rewarding.
What are your money saving tips and tricks? I’d love to hear them!
Well baby girl #2 has finally arrived, Baby S, and she’s pretty awesome.
Right before my baby was due I was 15lbs heavier than my pre pregnancy weight. Again, I’m not going to count the weight that I lost and gained during my morning sickness bout in the first trimester. So after baby S was born I lost 10 lbs, and after a week and a half I am now 1lb less than my pre pregnancy weight. I don’t know how I managed this because I am not one to lose weight easily, especially with the lack of exercise I’ve had. Must have been some water weight, but anyway, now I’m just playing the waiting game.
October 26th is game day. That’ll be 6 weeks postpartum and I’ll be good to go for exercise, and will be introducing healthy meal planning. In the mean time I’m going to eat a bit more sensibly, but I’m not going to deprive myself by any means. Alcohol for one thing is very caloric, but I’ve been alcohol free for 9 months, so I’m definitely not saying no to that any time soon. I’m also breast feeding which brings on this insatiable hunger and thirst. During pregnancy you get weird cravings and love to eat, but the breast feeding hunger is something totally different. I’m just so hungry, I don’t care if I’m eating chips and dip, a bag of apples or left over steak. I’ll pretty much eat anything, just as long as it’s in large quantities, so I hope that doesn’t some how catch up with me.
I said I’d keep up with the progress, so stay tuned for more!
I bought a (giant) bag of apples from the store (Costco) and thought I’d try something new with them. I love buying apple chips, and figured it’d be nice to make my own. A few days ago it was cool outside and felt like fall so I figured if the oven was on for a longer period of time it wouldn’t be such a big deal.
Baked Apple Chips
- 4 Apples – washed
- 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp Sugar
- Turn the oven on to 200F
- Core and thinly slice your apples.
- Place on tinfoil lined baking sheets – be sure to not overlap.
- Mix Cinnamon and sugar together, then sprinkle over the apples. Flip apples and sprinkle the other side too if you’re cool like me.
- Bake for 2-3 hrs flipping halfway through.
I ended up having to bake them for closer to 4 hrs and that could either be because it was humid, or because I didn’t slice them thin enough, but it wasn’t too big of a deal to leave them in there a bit longer, and they tasted delicious in the long run.
**Bonus: My house smelled like Autumn heaven while they were baking!
It has been awhile since I have posted any mani’s. I’m not entirely sure why I’ve slacked in the nail department, but I definitely have. These days I’ve mainly been sticking to solid colors on all of my nails and rotating a few favorite colors from my fingers, to my toes and back again. How boring right? Yes well, I noticed that my nails had grown very long, and actually didn’t even really need to be shaped in anyway. Must be the pregnancy, because they are strong as hell too.
Well I grabbed one of my aforementioned new favs and thought about an Aztec theme with some gold accents. As I was looking through my box of polish for the gold, I found my silver and thought “meh, good enough”. Then I looked through my decals, stickers and jewels for something to help tape designs. All I could find were curved french tip stickers. It wouldn’t really provide me with the pointed Aztec theme I was looking for but I thought, “meh, good enough”. Catching on to my inspiration pattern?? I tend to improvise a lot.
Anyway, these are the colors I chose…
The base color coats…
The final outcome…
I actually really enjoy these nails. Look pretty fancy to me, and weren’t too challenging. Perhaps, however, it’s just been awhile since I’ve had more than just a solid color, and anything “different” wows me.
I may not have stated this yet, but I am currently pregnant, and a soon to be mother of 2. I have had previous struggles with losing baby weight in the past, and am trying to balance it all this time around. I lost the baby weight, then gained it back when Christmas rolled around. Then I lost it again, and then I gained it back… then I gained even more just for good measure. So needless to say, when I got pregnant again, I really wanted to watch what I was eating and not go too crazy. I still had “baby weight” on, and couldn’t possibly need to gain much more. Plus I knew what a struggle I had when trying to lose the weight and keep it off the first time around, and wasn’t really up for that crazy challenge again, on top of the old weight I still hadn’t managed to properly lose.
Well this time I have plans. Big plans. I want to bring my weight back down to the pre pregnancy weight, like pre pre pregnancy weight. I plan to go on vacation to Florida 6-7 months after baby #2 is born, and I want to be able to wear a bathing suit, shorts, tank tops etc without feeling like a complete bag of poo. I want to run a race in the summer of 2016. I’ve ran two 5k’s before, so I’d really like to up the anti with an 8km race that happens locally. I don’t think any of these personal wants are too much to ask, and I’m certain all are achievable. I’ve done it all before, there is no reason that I can’t do it again.
I dream about being apart of a healthy and fit family. I want to be a great role model for my children. I want them to see me as a healthy, active person who is fit, and eats all the right things. I want to go on family walks and bike rides, and not feel like every outing has to revolve around, or end in food or treats.
I’ll have to face the challenge of having two kids around while trying to work out and eat right. I’ll have to be sure to do lots of planning ahead to ensure that I succeed. I’m considering the 21 day fix, with some running and yoga. Though I may have more success with simply eating properly and not sticking to a strict diet plan. Shouldn’t be too much to handle. I also wanted to attempt to breast feed for longer than my last pregnancy (3 months), which may aid in the weight loss, but also may hinder work out times, and what I can and cannot eat.
I also struggle with emotional eating, and binge eating. I get in this destructive zone and cannot help myself. Some days I’m great at keeping it all at bay, other days I am a slave to it, and don’t know how to stop. That on top of being sleep deprived, is a recipe for disaster in terms of weight loss success. For me anyway. Thus why I’m really trying to plan ahead, and think things through as much as possible. Make many small goals instead of one giant one that is easy to quit. Think meal and work out plans through so that I don’t feel discouraged or overwhelmed. I need to plan for cheat days, or days that I will fall off the wagon, and know that it doesn’t all mean that I have failed, just that I hit a speed bump. It’s easy to go with the “ahh fuck it, I already had a donut, may as well have 5” attitude. Failure can be a slippery slope.
Well I am 33 weeks pregnant now and have gained about 7 lbs. Now that might seem small, but technically, I gained back the 9 lbs that I lost in the first trimester due to morning sickness, plus said 7 lbs, so I’ve actually gained 16 lbs in total. Just doesn’t seem right to count the other 9 since I’m only 7 lbs over my pre pregnancy weight. Just trying to get the math right people!
Every now and then I eat garbage, desserts, chips, fast food… just general junk. Then some days I’m eating salads, nuts, veggies, hummus, fish, and all that good stuff that I should be consuming. I am pregnant, and am trying to not be too hard on myself when I indulge, but I really should be eating more healthfully. The point is that I haven’t gone completely crazy, and want to keep things at bay until the baby is born and it is safe to work out and diet again. (I use the term diet lightly)
This post is very hard for me to write since it causes me to be very vulnerable, and will also hold me accountable for my future outcome. I fear failure, but I know that that is no reason not to try, so here it goes…
I will post back periodically as the pregnancy and delivery goes on, before really ramping up on my weight loss and health journey in the fall/winter.
I’ll also still post about other random shit, because that is my one true passion!
My daughter turned 4 last week, and requested an under the sea Birthday party. She also has this stuffed, glowing, musical seahorse that she has had since she was 6 months old. She calls it her baby, more specifically her blue baby, since she has previously owned a pink baby in the past.
Anyway, her favorite color is purple and so she requested to have a birthday cake with a purple baby on it. I’ve drawn this damn seahorse thing so many different times, at baby girls request, so I was most definitely up for the “challenge” of putting a purple baby on a cake. She also requested chocolate cake and blue icing. Done deal baby girl!
First I sketched out my plan on a piece of paper, and made sure to color it in. Although I didn’t follow my plan 100%, it’s always good to have a visual of your plan, and make sure the colors actually go to together. See what works and what doesn’t. It’s better to make your mistakes on a piece of paper, rather then your cake.
I started with a boxed chocolate cake mix. I’m not gonna lie to you, I almost always use cake mixes. They taste really good, and you can up the anti on them if you so desire by just adjusting some of the added ingredients. Plus, lets be honest, the cake is just a vehicle for the icing, fruit topping, whipped cream, candy bars or whatever other tasty treats you plan to put on or around your cake region. I baked one 9×11 chocolate cake using melted butter instead of oil. Sometimes I add extra eggs then what is recommended, but since the cake was for a childs birthday I figured no one would really notice or care if it was more decadent. After I let the cake cool, I wrapped it in plastic wrap and but it in the freezer for an hr or two. This helps with the frosting process.
I put about one cup of butter in my stand mixer and whipped it on high. I do that until it is all airy and white. Maybe 5 minutes? I don’t really time it. Just turn it on high and do other random things in my kitchen while checking on it often. After it’s all white and whipped to my liking, I add about 1/3 cup of icing/powdered sugar at a time and turn the mixer on low until it’s mixed in, then whip again and repeat until the frosting is a texture I like. Then, if I’m in the mood, I’ll add vanilla extract or maybe a different flavor extract and whip it again. I’ll check again that the texture is agreeable to me. Be advised not to make your icing too stiff which basically just means you’ve added way too much sugar and your frosting will be very sweet!
In this particular case I purposely didn’t add quite enough sugar before portioning out the frosting that I needed for the blue water frosting. I then added some blue jello mix, a few table spoons at a time, while checking for a tasty flavor that I liked. I really didn’t want my frosting to be too sweet, so I was very careful about not adding too much sugar, especially before adding sugary jello mix. I added a couple drops of blue food coloring to get the right color that I was looking for.
After I scooped out the blue frosting and cleaned my bowl, I added the remaining frosting back to the mixer, added the rest of the desired icing sugar, and then portioned out the frosting to add food coloring to afterwards.
So much explaining, but all of this can be overwhelming and confusing at times.
I took the cake out of the freezer, unwrapped it and placed it on a dish that I planned to serve it on. I took a small spatula, and iced the entire thing. I initially wanted to make the frosting all smooth, and pipe a colored boarder, but I ended up making wave like strokes which I really liked so I went with that instead. When I was done with the blue I put the entire cake in the fridge, uncovered, to chill.
Because I used real butter for the frosting, it gets hard when chilled, and is a lot easier to set. Once the frosting was hard, I traced out the seahorse with a toothpick, then piped on all of the details.
Overall I was pretty pleased with the outcome, and it was not hard to make at all. Just required a little dish washing and time chilling in the fridge. Baby girl seemed pleased with the results as well, and that is all that matters!