Saturday, March 30, 2013

Weekend Wishlist

This installment of weekend wishlist is featuring my favorite animal in honor of this very special holiday weekend.  I absolutely love this time of year because you get to see bunnies everywhere you look.  I know bunnies have absolutely nothing to do with the real reason for the holiday, but its an added bonus for me!

That Not My Bunny


Tech accessory

Handpainted Bunny Bookends

Above are links to some of the awesome items featured in this wishlist.  I've had the lebunnybleu shoes on my wishlist for a while.  I actually have a few pairs on a Pinterest wishlist board!  The Anthropologie bunny bookends are quite adorable.  I'd use those to hold up all of our bunny books including "Guess How Much I Love You" and "Bunny, My Honey", two of my favorites!!

I keep telling myself to get one of those adorable bunny iPhone cases, but I always talk myself out of it because it'd be impossible to put in my pocket or purse with those big ears and tail.  But it's just so darn cute, that talk is getting harder and harder.  Even if I only use it around the house, I think it'd be worth it!

Hope everyone has an amazing Easter weekend.  I'm hoping to see some real bunnies while we are out hunting for Easter eggs and enjoying the spring weather that has finally arrived!  Until next time....

Monday, March 25, 2013

Week 2 Progress Report

Well I need a do-over week!  This was a terrible week for just about all of my goals!  Everyone in the house has been sick, which is a terrible excuse, but it made it very easy to make poor choices this week.  It started off great, with the dip in the scale last Monday.  I had momentum and motivation!  I had three consecutive days on the treadmill working out, and I was eating better.  But the rest of the week, I let everything else take over.

My legs were sore so I stopped working out.  We all have colds, so we spent a lot of time resting, eating takeout instead of cooking something decent, and snacking because we were bored.  Very bad idea!  And it all showed this morning when I stepped on the scale!

Like the weather, my motivation reverted back to it's winter hibernation!  Seriously, I thought this was Spring Break week, not Winter Vacation!  But, it's a new week now.  I already know my workout today is going to be shoveling snow thanks to the lying groundhog and Mother Nature who are in cahoots to keep our spring away!  

Yesterday afternoon, the freezing rain started.  For a brief moment it seemed like we might not get the snow that had been predicted.  But just as quickly as the sleet started, the snow covered the ground.  And kept on and kept on.  

By dinner time, everything was already covered, and big heavy snowflakes were still falling when we went to bed.

And this is the view we woke up to this morning.  I can't find my ruler, or I'd be out there checking to see exactly how much we got overnight.  It is still snowing too, although not as heavily.  It really is a beautiful view, but not what I want to see on Spring Break!  I really don't want to be hiding Easter eggs in the snow for the kids next weekend!  

The fact that it's Spring Break still remains.  Only a short while until school will be out which means summer will be here.  Summer where I want to put on a swimsuit and go swimming.  Lay out in the sun!  Tank tops and skirts and flip flops.  Not weight gain and hiding indoors in lounge pants and sweatshirts!  Motivation may come and go, just like the snow this spring, but I still need to make a change.  I still need to do better!  Here's to next week!  May the weight and the snow that came this week both be gone!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Weekend Wishlist

How would you spend a sick day?  When you and everyone else in the house is sick, I'd say there's nothing you wish for more than quiet, rest, and a speedy recovery.  Well, and maybe to not run out of tissues.

Best Sick Day Ever

Best Sick Day Ever by c-russell on Polyvore

On this sick day, I would totally rock those Doctor Who pajamas with my red and runny nose.  I'd curl up under a blanket on the couch and turn on series 2 of Doctor Who, since it starts off with David Tennant in pajamas too after all!  Then, I'd take a nap and dream of being whisked away as the Doctor's newest companion.  Allons-y!  Yes, that sounds like the best sick day ever!  

Too bad moms don't get sick days.  I'm just hoping maybe I get to sleep in a little longer.  I will be spending my weekend blowing kids' noses and also my own, rubbing vapor rub on chests, and maybe making some chicken soup.  Dreams of the Tardis will have to wait.  Here's to hoping we are all better soon!  

Friday, March 22, 2013

Make Our Garden Grow

It's been a long time since I'd actually heard the song "Make Our Garden Grow", but I listened to it a few times while putting this treasury together this morning.  My usual weekend treasury game seems to have been replaced with another promotion, but we still have Shops of the Day to promote so that's what I'm doing now.  And listening to classical music in the background just makes it that much more enjoyable.

It amazed me that although it's been years since I'd heard the song, I was able to start humming along immediately and remembered some of the words too.  It's such a romantic song that really has nothing to do with a real garden, but it's still so beautiful!

The Promoting Creative Friends Shops of the Day featured in this treasury are:

I fell in love with the little garden rabbit as soon as I saw him.  I'd definitely put that cute little guy in a flower bed (sadly I don't have a garden).  I'm also a very big fan of the vintage apron with the rabbits on it!  It's amazing!

All of these items have me eager for spring and summer and being outdoors.  I can't believe that it's officially spring, but we woke up to frost on the ground this morning.  There's even snow in the upcoming forecast.  I think Mother Nature forget to turn a few pages on her calendar!  I'm ready for everything to start turning green, and for flowers to bloom.  Now just for the weather to catch up!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Rage Against the Minivan: Let’s bring the holidays down a notch

A friend of mine shared this post on Facebook this morning.  I clicked on it because I was mostly intrigued by the blog name, not so much the post.  It reminded me of this picture my sister sent me after we got our minivan!  But the post is excellent!  It's not long, its funny, but most of all, it's true!

Rage Against the Minivan: Let’s bring the holidays down a notch:
"Today was St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday I had completely forgotten about until
Jafta stumbled into the living room at about 11:30pm last night..."
 I'm thankful that my kids are still young enough to not get the full exposure of public school pressure over holidays.  My oldest is only in pre-k this year, and while they have celebrated the larger holidays, there is none of this nonsense over a new made up holiday every week.

I believe they had a party at Halloween, the Christmas party was cancelled because of a snow day, and the kids exchanged Valentines.  Thankfully, the only thing he brought home from St. Patrick's Day was a shamrock necklace the kids made in class.

For Valentine's, I was so excited to do the store bought box of Valentines with my son this year.  I found a box of Phineas and Ferb Valetnine cards with pencils at the dollar store!  We sat at the kitchen table with his list of classmates, and he got to choose which card to give to each of his friends.  He printed his name and their name on each and every card.  I was so proud of him!

He did come home that day with a small amount of candy, but after sharing a couple pieces with his sister it was just a small treat.  I'm ok with that!  If he'd have come home with a Halloween size till, I'd probably have thrown it all away!  And we didn't even get very much for Halloween last year.  We went trick-or-treating late, and many people were already out of candy.  I'm going to remember that for future trick-or-treating excursions.  We still get the fun of a walk around the neighborhood seeing the kids in costume, but a lot fewer calories in the bucket at the end of the night!

Just like in the original post, we don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day around here.  I've never understood the allure of this holiday.  I didn't even wear green, and I didn't suggest the kids do it either.  If I was going to do anything, it would have been something like the shamrock craft he'd done at school.  Crafts are so much better than candy!

Now for the upcoming Easter holiday.  It's always been my favorite.  I'm not ashamed to admit that my reasons have nothing to do with the actual reason for the holiday either.  I'm a bunny fanatic!  And it just so happens that this time of year there's a bunny on everything, everywhere.  Easter is one of the few times a year my family usually gets together (and somewhat gets along).  It's springtime, and the winter blues are fading away.  We're happier.  We get to dress up.  There's bunnies!  Can you see why I love it so much?

I have never used a kit to dye eggs.  In fact, last year was the first year I've ever dyed eggs.  We used some rubberbands to (attempt to) make some fun designs and food coloring.  Who needs fancy?  We don't!

When the Easter bunny stops by our house every year now, he brings very little candy or chocolate.  He usually brings a new toy, outfit, book, or something useful like new toothbrushes!  We'll have an Easter egg hunt, but any plastic eggs will have a few coins for the piggy bank or ONE piece of candy in them.  There are no jumbo eggs stuffed with a days worth of calories.  And you know what, the kids have just as much fun!

My kids aren't even that exposed to the holiday hype yet, and I'm already frustrated by it.  I feel like many moms are on a mission to outdo themselves and others each and every holiday.  When does the madness stop?  My hope for our house, it to never let it get started!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Week 1 Progress Report

Happy Monday morning!  We are happy it's Monday right?  Yeah, I know...not funny!  Well, I'm at least happy to report a move in the right direction this past week.  Today I weighed in at 1.2 lbs less than I did last week.  For me, I'd say that's a good start!

If I dared set foot on the scale before this week, I'd usually see a similar result in the opposite direction.  I want no more of that!  I worked out on the treadmill 4 times this past week, but only between 20-30 minutes each time.  I think 4 days is maintainable for this, but I'd like to increase that time to 30-40 minutes and increase the intensity of those workouts.  That's something to work on for the week ahead!

I also plan to throw in a P90X DVD here and there for some strength exercises.  The shoulders and arms workouts used to be one of my favorites.  I remember having a hard time lifting my arm to brush my hair when I got done with one of those workouts!  It's time to do that again!

Also on the menu this week, or rather what needs to come off the menu this week...carbs!  I did a better job this first week of not snacking, but I still had far too many carbs at meals.  Last night, we also got my favorite takeout for dinner which I knew I would regret this morning, but it was delicious and made me feel better after one heck of a stressful week.  I can live with that!

I'm working on drinking more water during the day, something I generally have a problem with.  I like my morning coffee and a Pepsi Max with dinner, but often there's not much in between.  Last week, I made a trip for over 40 gallons of spring water, so I have no reason not to be drinking lots and lots of water!

I'm going to end this week's progress report with another old picture of me.  This was taken at my daughter's first birthday party during my Atkin's phase.  I was 5 pounds from my goal weight at the time and sporting a brand new size 2 skirt.  I felt great!

With warmer temps right around the corner, I'm going to want to wear that skirt again!  I'm going to make sure it fits this year!

How did you do last week?  Any victories on or off the scale?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Feeding the Birds

Nobody likes eating that last slice of bread, or the first for that matter.  We just aren't fans of the bread heels in this house.  When we do get down to those last slices, the kids like to feed them to the birds.  This lovely little robin sitting in the backyard was quite pleased about it too!

The kids split whatever bread was left whether its just the heels or a couple stale slices, and they tear it up into tiny bits.  They toss it out as far in the backyard as they can.

Sometimes it doesn't go very far.  

So they'll have to find it, and pick it up.  And throw it again.

If the dog happens to be outside with us, she thinks the bread is a treat for her instead of the birds.

The kids will inform her otherwise and chase her back up to the porch!

I like to think this little robin hangs out in our yard just for the bread.  I don't know if its even the same one as before, but I'm pretending it is.  Maybe this year, we'll get him a real bird feeder!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Weekend Wishlist

This week's Weekend Wishlist is keeping with my motivational trend this week of getting back on track!  Working out, eating better, and hoping to see a smaller number on the scale on Monday have been on my mind all week long.

I still have the bulk of the weekend to go, but so far I'm optimistic!  It's way past time for a change too.  I know what I need to do, and I've known it all along.  It's so easy to go for that unhealthy snack or cozy up on the couch barefoot instead of putting on tennis shoes and hopping on the treadmill.  It's easy that is, until you go to put on your favorite jeans and they don't fit anymore!

I'm pretty happy with how the set turned out this week.  I didn't use a premade template on Polyvore for this one.  I created it from scratch.  The link below the picture will take you to the set on Polyvore.

Get Fit Now

This wishlist has a lot of things I don't actually need in order to get fit, but I would love to have.  That's why it's a wishlist right?  Let's start with the heart rate monitor.  I need to be keeping track of when I'm in my target range and for how long so I make sure I'm maximizing my workouts.  Not included here, but another gadget on my wishlist is a pedometer.  I'm think using one will help me stay more active throughout the day.  I'd see the number and aim to do better each day than the last.

Unless you're doing yogo or some other barefoot workout, a good pair of shoes are definitely key.  I love my Saucony running shoes, but these new Abeo shoes here have me intrigued.   The gray and turquoise is also more appealing than the gray and pink ones I currently have.  Not that the color of shoes I wear actually matters in my workout.  But no reason you can't look your best when you're working out to look your best!  Makes sense right?

Only a couple more days till my result post on Monday.  I'm looking forward to a great weekend to finish of a great week.  What do you do to stay motivated through the week or on the weekends?  When is it hardest to stick to your plan?

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Before yesterday I had never heard of Bloglovin'.  I suppose that makes it obvious I'm an amateur at this whole blog thing.  But with the news about Google Reader and GFC, I decided I better add my blog to Bloglovin' anyway.  If you haven't heard the news about Google Friend Connect, it will history this summer, so for the few of you who follow this blog using GFC won't be able to anymore.  I'm giving you another option!  Check Bloglovin' out, and make sure you don't lose track of your favorite blogs once GCF is gone!

Make sure to click the link button to the right and follow with Bloglovin'.  Check other blogs you follow for that blue and white plus sign and make sure you get them as well.  I just joined myself, but it looks like an amazing and easy way to keep track of all your favorite blogs in one place; it even imported all of my currently followed blogs for me.  Something tells me I'm not going to miss GFC too much!

Mid Week Progress Report

This past Sunday, I made the decision it was time to change course.  I was tired of going backwards in my weight loss journey.  On Monday, I made the post on here about my decision and my goals.  I'm not back to report numbers yet, but I am back to keep my motivation up!  I've been on the treadmill every day this week.  I've done ab exercises every day this week.  And wow can I feel the effects of that!  I'm more careful about snacking, and I've been drinking more water.  I also haven't added salt to a single meal this week (Shhh, I don't think Hubby has noticed)!  I'm actually looking forward to setting foot on the scale again on Monday, which honestly I have not been excited about in some time.

I'm also eager to get the kids out of the house and get to the park whenever weather permits now.  Sunday was a beautiful day.  Absolutely perfect weather for this time of year, and we headed off to a nearby park.  I insisted we take a trail through the woods before hitting the playgrounds and the kids obliged.

On Tuesday, I made one of our regular trips to another park, Flowing Well Park, where we can load up on free spring water.  It is seriously good water, and we don't drink tap water around here.  It's 'well' worth the trip!

I filled up over 40 gallons of water and lugged them back to the van so that was my workout for the day.  After that we took to a trail through a small wooded area.  It was colder than it had been on Sunday, but still a very lovely day.  And I got some very lovely pictures to show for it.

I don't know where my motivation has been hiding for the past two years, but I feel like I finally have it back.  Also, I feel like if I keep saying that enough, and keep typing that enough, I'll stick with it!  As I said on Monday, this is my accountability.  I only want to have positive results to share with you!

I know a few other people who are working towards a similar goal right now, and I hope that sharing my journey helps to motivate them as well!!  However, my goal for this particular post is to give me a positive boost to get through the weekend and see a success on Monday!  Stay tuned!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Getting Back with the Program

It's been a long long while since I've done a weight loss post or even posted a healthy recipe.  I've neglected those sections of this blog as much as I've neglected the reason for them.  It was about this time 2 years ago when I started looking into a low carb lifestyle after months of struggling with low fat and counting calories after I gave birth to my daughter.  That wasn't working, and I needed to find something that did.

Between April and September that year I lost 23 pounds cutting carbs and working out, putting me 2 pounds shy of my goal weight when we got married on September 10, 2011.  As of today, I've put all but 3 of those pounds back on.  Eeek!  It's time to start getting serious again and to make changes that allow me to reach my goal and stay there!

I can't believe I'm posting this picture, but I am proud of it.  That is me just days before our beach wedding at my lowest weight.  I might have to print this out and put it on the fridge.  It took a lot of work to get to where I was then, but I did it once so I know I can do it again!

I weighed in this morning, and I plan to do so every Monday morning.  I'll be posting a result here on the blog, but not an actual number in pounds.  We'll consider this week my starting point.  It's not really about the number, just the progress and my health!  I plan to dive back into low carb, slowly at first as I relearn what my best meal and snack options are and eventually restart Atkins.

I also plan to be more active.  My treadmill had set unused for far too long until yesterday.  It didn't get much of a workout yesterday either due to frequent interruptions.  I need to address those before I get started, not while I'm running.  But I don't plan on letting it get dusty again!  The hike through the woods we had yesterday is also something I hope to repeat often!  I know the views there are only going to get better and spring and summer come to life!  I'll probably also schedule a date with Jillian Michaels (on DVD of course)!

These posts will become my accountability.  Every Monday I want to have something positive to report.  I think it would provide additional motivation to me and hopefully others as well.  Summer is right around the corner, and I want to be happy about how I look and feel in a swimsuit or even a tank top!  So let's get moving!!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Weekend Wishlist

Ready for another round of my weekend wishlist?  I will be after my first cup of coffee.  I find it hard to really be ready for anything until after that first cup.  As I type this I'm sitting here with my favorite cup, Donut Shop Coconut Mocha with sugar-free hazelnut creamer.  I can't have coffee without creamer!

This collection is full of amazing coffee love.  I used a template made by derya-altun on Polyvore.  Then I started looking for my favorite coffee related items.  The tiny coffee cup on the bottom right is a miniature dollhouse coffee cup I'll be picking up for Maddie sometime soon.  I've been working on setting up some "rooms" for her as backdrops for when I'm taking photos for my shop.  Soon I'll have her sitting at a little table drinking her coffee, reading the newspaper, and modeling my newest hats or bows.  She's quite the little multitasker.

The large photo on the top is something I want to try my hand.  I love coffee art and bokeh together.  A good friend of mine recently did her own coffee/bokeh photoshoot and has a canvas print available in her Etsy shop.  Check it out here.  I'm not sure I have the right equipment to get my own amazing bokeh shots just yet, but it's on my to-do list!

Lets Go Out for Coffee


Knitted Coffee Cozy Picture & Image | tumblr

One of these days when we get around to our kitchen remodel, I want to do a coffee theme.  Nothing over the top, but a nice mocha color on the walls, a coffee bar, and some coffee art.  Hopefully by that time I'll be good enough that it will be my art that goes up!  I love the idea of creating our own coffee bar, and that may happen sooner rather than later.  We have a small cabinet/counter area in our kitchen that really only gets used as a catch-all/junk space because it doesn't really have any other good function at the moment.  Turning it into a dedicated coffee space would stop the clutter from piling up there, and who wouldn't want their own coffee bar?

No matter how great your coffee is at home or how awesome your coffee bar is, sometimes you just want to go out for coffee.  At least I do anyway.  I miss Barnie's that used to be in our local mall.  I loved going in there for a Cool Cafe Blues Coffee Cooler or Santa's White Christmas coffee in the winter.  I also love going to Starbuck's for my favorite specialty drinks.  I haven't mastered a no-water Tazo chai or a Pumpkin Spice latte quite like they have.  And believe me, I've tried!!

So what's your favorite type of coffee?  Hot or Iced?  Can you stand it black?  Where do you go to get your favorite coffee drink?  My cup is almost gone now, and I'm thinking it's time for another.  Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Rabbit's Whisper

It's no secret that I love bunnies.  I have as long as I can remember.  My mom often jokes about when I was little, and I'd want something with the Playboy bunny on it.  I didn't know at the time what Playboy even was, I just saw a bunny!  There's also a running joke in my family about a giant bunny I saw in the backyard as a kid.  I still swear I saw it, and they still laugh!

Anytime I get a chance to use a bunny in something, I do.  So it should be no surprise that this weekend's treasury also includes a bunny (well two actually).  I didn't start off creating the treasury for a rabbit theme however.  I started off picking my favorite items from the four featured shops this week; those shops are listed below.  Then I chose another four PCF team shops as per the weekend treasury game rules.  After that I started searching the Etsy wonderful for grey and spring.

As the treasury started to come together, I love the greys I had found, I love the softness, and I was quickly reminded of my favorite soft grey thing....bunnies!  I pulled up my Etsy favorites and added some bunnies to complete the treasury.  That part was super easy, because my favorites are filled with bunnies!

Here's a snapshot of the treasury and a link below to view the treasury on Etsy.

This week's featured shops:
Be sure to click on the treasury, add it to your favorites, and share a comment!  What's your favorite item from this week's treasury?  The handmade polymer clay beads have already sold today!  I always think it's exciting to see sales from featured items.  I don't know if it was the treasury that sparked the sale, but I like to think that I helped in some small way.  My favorite item in this collection is the rabbit photograph.  I'm obsessed with photography now, and I think it's a wonderful closeup.  I'm hoping this summer when the bunnies come out in the backyard, I can snap a few closeups of my own!

On a sad note, yesterday my Shmetsy tool stopped working.  I have only been using the tool for a little over a month now, but became addicted to the ease of making treasuries with it!  It's difficult to go back to the "old way" of making treasuries and sending convos to the featured shops one-by-one.  I've contacted Shmetsy but haven't received a response yet.  I'm hoping it gets fixed soon!  I already miss it!!  

Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Weeds and Woods

I think I might have an unhealthy obsession with photographing weeds.  I blame my former years in FFA doing crops judging and studying countless photos and samples of the local Indiana flora.  In the last few weeks, I swear I've taken a picture of every weed I've seen (too bad I don't remember their names anymore!)  Once I get the pictures uploaded to the computer though, I'm not always as happy about them as I was when I snapped it walking through the woods.  This time, however, I find these still remarkably beautiful!

I couple weeks ago I downloaded a free Photoshop action called Bella from this website.  I've tried it out on several different pictures but always ended up scrapping the edit.  It just wasn't right for those pictures.  On these lovely little weeds however, I think it's perfect!  I love the different pops of color, especially the subtle bluish gray color, and the overall sweet softness of the photo.  I think it's one of those actions you just have to be in a certain mood to use!

I used the same action on this tree, but I'm not as happy with it.  The softness and color scheme just doesn't seem to work as well here, perhaps because the photo is so much busier (or perhaps I'm just not as excited about trees as I am about weeds!)

These next three pictures were just some fun Photoshop editing.  I need as much practice as I can get so I was playing around with the same photo to get different looks.  I think the bluish one is my favorite.  I like the contrast it provides to the orange leaf the best.

All of these pictures were taken over the weekend at my in laws house.  They have an amazing view from their back porch.  I could sit there for hours watching birds or squirrels or whatever other animal dared to show up.  This was one of the last pictures I took for the day of the late afternoon soon shining across their deck.

Can't wait to get back out there and shoot some more photos.  Spring and summer will be just as beautiful and hopefully I'll see some more animals too!